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Black Her -Story Month 2017 ~ Bloomington Style: Illuminating the Gifts of Black Women

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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.

This year's theme is "Black Her - Story Month: Illuminating the Gifts of Black Women."

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All *City of Bloomington Black History Month events are open to the public. Events are free unless otherwise stated. View calendar of events I here. (PDF 13.36 MB) View calendar of events II here. (PDF 387.11 KB)

Living Legend Award to be honored at 12th Annual Black History Month Gala

Doris Sims Doris J. Sims The 2017 Living Legend Award recipient is Doris J. Sims.

The Living Legend Award was created to publicly acknowledge, honor and celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans in Bloomington who have devoted their time, talents and resources to make a difference in the Bloomington community and beyond.

Donald and Nicole Griffin of Griffin Realty, sponsors of the award, described Ms. Sims as a leader in every aspect of her life and a leader who keeps everyone in mind. "Doris genuinely cares and works to make a difference at home, at work, at church, as a volunteer and in the community. She works tirelessly to improve the lives of others and to make the city of Bloomington a better place for all citizens. Sims' leadership, service, integrity, compassion, humility, mentorship and encouragement of others are what make her a Living Legend." "Doris Sims is a leader who has chosen to make her life about service. Bloomington is a better place to live thanks to her efforts, so it's great to see her receive this well-deserved award," commented Mayor John Hamilton.

Sims is an alumna of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Groups Program. She is the 2009 recipient of the Sassafras Award for Distinguished Alumni in Community Service. She also serves on the IU Credit Union Board of Directors. Sims has held former board positions with the Bloomington Housing Authority, Sheriff's Merit Board and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, as well as numerous social service agencies.

Sims will be honored alongside recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Black Male Leader of Tomorrow Award presented by the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males at the City of Bloomington's 12th Annual Black History Month Gala on Saturday, February 25, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College Avenue. The reception and silent auction will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the program to follow at 7:00 p.m. Live entertainment will be provided by Ground Zero Band Indy.

Tickets for the Gala are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., or online Click here for BCTbox office

The City of Bloomington Black History Month~Bloomington Style programs are underwritten by the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department, City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor, Indiana University Office of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Lumina Foundation, The Media School at Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College, Monroe County Branch NAACP, Dr. K. Luke Eades, DDS, Old National Bank, and the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. Program sponsors include Indiana University Credit Union, Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, Stone City Lodge #54 and Griffin Realty.


Other City of Bloomington Black History Month upcoming events include:

The 2017 Black Her-Story Month Essay Contest Awards Reception

The City of Bloomington Black History Month Planning Committee will welcome parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and community members to Fairview Elementary on Tuesday, February 21, to honor the 2017 Black History Month Essay Contest award winners. Awards will be presented in the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels. Join the community in supporting these budding scholars. Program begins at 6pm Refreshments will be served.

First, second, and third place award will be given to students in Elementary (4-6), Middle (7-8) High School (9-12). First place winners will receive 16GB iPad Air 2. Second place $100.00, Third Place $75.00. The Black History Month Essay Contest is sponsored by Indiana University Credit Union, Prince Hall Masons Stone City Lodge #54, and Order of the Eastern Star, Southern Star #50

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The 2017 Black Her-Story Month Kick-off

Annual Kickoff Celebration for Black History Month featured Cultural Production Dedicated to Black Women

The Bloomington community was treated to "An Evening of Cultural Production," Kicking off Black History Month 2017, Thursday, February 2, at 6PM in the Council Chambers of Showers City Hall. The 2017 theme for Black History Month is Black Her-Story Month: Illuminating the Gifts of Black Women. The Black History Month Planning Committee worked to develop programming that celebrates the bounty which Black women nationally, and locally, have bestowed upon our communities. Black women have challenged racial and gender inequality and advanced the struggle for human rights. Despite their accomplishments, their impact has not always been recognized.

This Evening of Cultural Production dedicated to Black women featured performances: Fairview Elementary Show Choir with director Richard Baskin; pianist Bobby E. Davis Jr., IU. Reverend Rochelle Laffoon Bethel A.M.E. Church, provided the opening meditation; remarks by Mayor John Hamilton, and IU Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Mellonee V. Burnim spoke on celebrating Black Women. Dr. Maisha Wester, IU, and Black History Month planning committee, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

Peformances by: Justus Belton on cello; Indiana University Contemporary Dance co.; vocalist Jahmil Kason Henderson; Bryan Thompson on saxophone; spoken word performer London Grant, and vocalists Jasmine Dennie and Terrlyn Douglas. Black History Month 2017 underwriters: City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department, City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor, Dr. K. Luke Eades, DDS, IU Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, Ivy Tech Community College, Lumina Foundation, Monroe County Branch NAACP, The Media School, IU, and Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University.

Click here to view the 2017 Black Her-Story Month Kick-off