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For more information, please contact

Rafi Khalid Hasan II 
Director of Safe and Civil City Program,
Community and Family Resources Department 

Black History Month Kickoff Will Highlight Significance of Protest in the Black Experience

Bloomington, Ind. - The community is invited to celebrate the kick-off of the City of Bloomington’s commemoration of Black History Month on Thursday, February 1 at 6:20 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton Street. The theme for this year’s Black History Month is From Protest to Progress: Unmasking the Movement.

From Protest to Progress: Unmasking the Movement represents the importance of revisiting the past in order to stride forward. The commemoration of Black History Month is a time to actively celebrate the lives of those who put their incomes, reputations and sometimes lives on the line for justice and equity, and to explore the creative ways that Black people have and continue to make change in the United States and the world.

“From Protest to Progress is an appropriate theme for this year’s celebration as it highlights the efforts of Americans and African-Americans, in particular, in developing a vision for creating a just and beloved society,” commented Jim Sims, president of the Monroe County NAACP and Bloomington City Council member. “We don’t march and protest because we like it, we do so in order to facilitate continual progress and work toward the goal of racial and cultural equity, social justice, inclusion and non-discrimination for all, but specifically for people of color.”

The evening will feature a keynote address from Eric Love, Director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Notre Dame, music by Bryan Thompson, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

Other City of Bloomington Black History Month events include:

  • Black History Month Essay Contest Awards Reception

Thursday, February 8  – 6:00 p.m. at Fairview Elementary School, 500 W. 7th Street.

Join parents, teachers, siblings and friends as the community’s young scholars and authors are honored.  

  • State of the Black Community

Tuesday, February 13 - 5:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton

Street. This event will feature a coalition of organizations discussing education, economics, and the criminal justice system as they relate the black community. Refreshments will be served.    

  • 14th Annual Black History Month Gala

Saturday, February 24 – 6:00 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College Avenue.

In addition to an elegant evening of dining and dancing, the event includes a silent auction and the presentations of the 2018 Living Legend Recognition and the Commission on the Status of Black Males’ Black Male Leader of Tomorrow Award. The Gala begins at 7:00 p.m. and is preceded by a reception and silent auction at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for this event are $50 and are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood, at or by calling 812-323-3020.

For a complete listing of Black History Month activities throughout the community, log on to or contact the City of Bloomington Safe and Civil City Director, Rafi Hasan, at 812-349-3559 or