Northwest Missouri State University will host a series of film screenings and discussions as well as its annual Soul Food Dinner to commemorate Black History Month in February.

The 2018 nationwide theme “African Americans in Times of War” commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I in 1918. All Black History Month activities at Northwest are open to the public.

“It is going to be an educational journey as we continue our discussions on civility and inclusion,” Dr. Justin Mallett, Northwest’s director of diversity and inclusion, said. “Having an opportunity to learn about some key historical figures will be great for students. It is also important for students to understand the story and the journey that many before them went through, and our programming during this month allows for this to happen.”

On Saturday, February 10, Northwest hosts its annual Soul Food Dinner, featuring food eaten by African-American families as well as a keynote address by a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and Northwest’s gospel choir. The menu will include salad, collard greens, fried chicken, fried catfish, candied yams, macaroni with cheese, corn bread and a dessert. Doors to the event in the Student Union Ballroom open at 5:30 and the dinner begins at 6 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and children six and older.

Additionally, Northwest Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is sponsoring film screenings during the month. It will show “Black Panther” on Friday, February 16 and “Jungle Fever” on Wednesday, February 21. All showings are free, beginning at 7 pm in the JW Jones Student Union Boardroom.

“I hope people start the process of understanding the past in order to change the future,” Mallett said. “I want to use this month to continue the process of developing an inclusive mind, campus and local community. I don’t want to just carry this message of inclusiveness on campus, but I would like for this message to carry out into the community so younger kids can learn about diversity and the role it plays in history as well.”

Black History Month activities at Northwest will culminate Saturday, February 25, with a recognition of Northwest alumni of color during halftime of the Bearcat men’s basketball team against Lincoln University. Tip off for the game is 3:30 pm at Bearcat Arena.