Iona celebrates black excellence through series of events

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

Iona is hosting a series of virtual and in-person events in honor of Black History Month which started from Feb 2 to Feb 24.  


The events, coordinated by Melissa Aponte, director of student development, are designed to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans throughout history as well as show appreciation for the college’s diverse population.  


In order to cater to both in-person and remote-learning students, the series of programs is composed of both in-person and virtual events. 


The following statement was prepared by Dr. Sumita Furlong, chief diversity officer: 


Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second Black American, after W.E.B. Du Bois, to receive a PhD in History from Harvard University, created the Black History Week in February of 1926. His intention was to highlight and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans in the making of America. He wanted this week to showcase the achievements of Black Americans in sciences, inventions, education, literature, history, politics, creative arts, entertainment, sports, and multitude of other fields. Through this celebration, he also wanted to increase the visibility of Black life and history, at a time when this was largely ignored except to portray this community in negative ways. Ultimately, in 1976, this celebration evolved into Black History Month.  


Black History Month is still a vehicle we utilize to ensure that our nation does not forget or overlook the achievements of our Black brothers and sisters. This is why it is important to celebrate this month with a look at the past, present and the future through the kind of events Iona College is hosting. But, it is our hope that, in the near future, Black contributions will be so deeply embedded into the fabric of our national heritage that we will no longer need a month out of a year to remind us about the excellence of Black America.