Craven Community College (Craven CC) will celebrate Black History Month with events hosted on the New Bern and Havelock campuses. “Hidden Figures and Community Involvement” will be held Friday, Feb. 8 from 6-8 p.m. on the New Bern Campus and “Unfolding History: Black History Reflections” will be held Thursday, Feb. 14 from 4:30-6 p.m. on the Havelock Campus.
“Hidden Figures and Community Involvement” will celebrate the ways African American organizations and individuals in the region have improved local communities. Guest speaker Chris Suggs, who founded the nonprofit Kinston Teens, Inc. at the age of 14, will discuss his work in Kinston and the positive impact young people can have on their own communities. Other organizations participating in the event include the Craven CC Foundation, Neuse River Bridge Run, Craven Arts Council, Tryon Palace and New Bern Civic Theatre.
“I love being able to coordinate events that bring our community, students, staff and faculty together in meaningful ways,” said Emily Stewart, Craven CC campus life coordinator. “A community college not only provides a place to further your educational goals, but it is a place to come together and connect and learn from each other. When a community can celebrate together, everyone thrives.”
“Hidden Figures and Community Involvement” will be held in the Student Center on the New Bern Campus. There will be refreshments, ticket giveaways to the New Bern Civic Theatre play Miss Evers’ Boys and community organizations on hand to help participants discover different ways they can get involved. Craven CC’s singing student ambassador group, Encore!, will also perform.
On the Havelock Campus, historian Nelson McDaniel will present “Unfolding History: Black History Reflections” as an exploration of African American achievements and contributions to Craven County’s history.
McDaniel was born in New Bern and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, George Washington and Georgetown Universities, New York University and the University of Lyon. For 30 years, he was a teacher at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. McDaniel has served in various volunteer capacities, including the New Bern 300th, New Bern Historical Society, Camps Sea Gull and Seafarer, Christ Church, Tryon Palace Foundation, Carolina East Foundation, Kellenberger Foundation, Craven Arts Council, Coastal Carolina Chamber Music Festival and Swiss Bear.
“Black history laid the foundation for much of American history,” said Sylvia King, Craven CC director of student services on the Havelock Campus. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks paved the way for so many of the freedoms that we enjoy today. For example, many people went to see the movie “Hidden Figures” and were surprised to learn that Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who worked with NASA to put John Glenn into orbit, was an African American.”
The presentation will take place in the Institute of Aeronautical Technology Hangar at 305 Cunningham Blvd. Light refreshments will be served.
“This event is to empower us with knowledge so that we can continue to grow as Americans and to teach the generations to come that the United States is great,” said King. “Knowing the past opens the door to the future—this statement is true not just for the past but for the history that is in the making today.”
Craig Ramey, Director of Communications, Craven Community College