Black History Month ~ Bloomington Style 2015: What Excellence Looks Like

Black History Month Banner

Each year, the City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee plans activities and events for the community to celebrate and commemorate the month of February as Black History Month ~ Bloomington Style.

This year's theme is "What Excellence Looks Like."

All City of Bloomington Black History Month events are open to the public. Events are free unless otherwise stated.

The 2015 Black History Month Kick-off & Reception

Avis Dawson

The City of Bloomington's 11th Annual Celebration of African American History and Culture Month will kick off Thursday, Feb. 5. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m. in the atrium of City Hall, with the Kick-Off Program following at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers of City Hall, 401 N. Morton St. This event is free and open to the public.

The theme for this year's celebration is "What Excellence Looks Like" and will examine African American excellence locally and nationally, past and present, with hopes of inspiring all members of the community to always strive for excellence. The Kick-Off Program will feature book signings by local authors, Janet Cheatham Bell and Audrey T. McCluskey, and a keynote address by Arvis Dawson, Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Elkhart, Indiana.

In his position at the City of Elkhart, Dawson is responsible for implementing the Mayor's vision for jobs and economic development. Prior to serving as Executive Assistant, he served seven four-year terms as City Councilman for the Fifth District, while working as an educator for the Elkhart Community School Corporation as a health and physical education teacher. He continues to be a group mentor for young men at one of the local middle schools. Dawson has served as Chairman of the Board for Indiana Black Expo, Inc. and currently serves as Executive Vice-Chairman of that organization. He also fulfilled the role of Democratic City Chair for the 2007 Municipal General Election and was an Indiana Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Dawson has been and continues to be a member of several boards, including the NAACP, DARE, Salvation Army, the Indiana State Teachers Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Trustee Board for Agape Missionary Church, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, the Elkhart County Election Board and the Goshen College Alumni Board.

Showers City Hall Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton Street

Reception: 6:00 pm, Program: 7:00 pm

The 2015 Black History Month Community-Wide Events Calendar & Insert

The 2015 Black History Month Community-Wide Events Calender is now available.

Black History Month Community-Wide Events Calendar (PDF 4.51 MB) & Insert (PDF 4.51 MB)

ADDENDUM to City of Bloomington Black History Calendar of Events.

ADDENDUM to City of Bloomington Black History Calendar of Events (PDF 10.75 KB) &Insert (PDF 10.75 KB)

2015 Black History Month Essay Contest

2015 Black History Month Essay Contest is now open to students grades 4-12. The deadline is January 30, 2015 at 5pm. Please see the following flyer for a complete list of guidelines, submission details, and a list of potential essay subjects.

2015 Black History Month Essay Contest Flyer (PDF 13.55 MB)

2015 Black History Month Gala

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College

Reception & Silent Auction Opening: 6:30pm

Doors Open: 7:00pm

Celebrate with friends and neighbors at this elegant evening of dinner and dancing. The evening includes live music, a silent auction and the presentation of the 2015 City of Bloomington Living Legend and Outstanding Black Male Leader of Tomorrow Awards. Tickets on sale January 30 at the BCT Box Office. The BCT Box Office is located at 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue or on the web at