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Black History with guests and topics aimed at the needs of Black students

A wide ranging variety of topics were presented to Valley college students as part of the Black History Month celebration.

By Angelia Coyne, Special to the Star

This year, Valley’s Umoja Black Scholars program is fully loaded with events for members that address issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter movements during Black History month.

Event guest Thea Monyee is an artist, therapist and writer who was selected by GoDaddy for her endeavor of “Healing the World Through Joy and Pleasure.”

“My biggest fear is the oppression of people’s creativity,” said Monyee, in an interview with Brandon Baxter. “People have these burning ideas and desires that they are not able to give birth to.”

Monyee’s passion is to educate people about the powerful process of introspection. She encourages individuals to not be reserved in approaching how they feel, but to discover their creative birth, finding the possibilities of their greatness. Monyee’s mindset is reflective of the goals set at Valley’s Umoja program for the black student community on campus.

Our primary focus is to support African American students in defining their future, motivating them on their path, cultivating their passion, and holding them accountable to their dreams,” the Umoja program mission statement reads.

Author of “Black Future Month: A Visionary Plan to Reshape our Future” and creator of the board game Black Wall Street. De'Von Truvel’s game focuses on teaching how to become aware of black culture and their finances.

“Since 2017, Black Wall Street the Board Game has been the best way to learn Black History and increase financial literacy from home. Based on the legacy of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street; the only way to win is to invest,” says

Truvel, shared his views with the Umoja Black Scholar program, by teaching students to recognize their greatness despite coming from a diasporic background.

Truvel was also a guest at Valley during Black History month, where introduced his book, “History of Black Economics: Remember, Relearn, Rebuild.” His book discusses how strengthening black businesses in places like Tulsa Oklahoma, is on the rise and fairing well and how students can find a place in those types of businesses.

The Valley Umoja program also addressed current issues. Umoja invited Fahren James from the Black Lives Matter Pasadena chapter to explore the roles of students in community activism and to explore creating coalitions that will thwart the perpetuation white supremacy.

The Black History schedule concluded with the Los Angeles Black College Expo online. Held on Feb.23, guest speaker Dr. Tyrone Howard, professor of education at UCLA’s Pritzker Family Endowed Chair and director of the Black Male Institute, presented his book “Why Race and Culture Matters in Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap in America’s Classrooms” to the Umoja Black Scholars students.

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