Diablo Valley College celebrates Black History Month with student panel


Camille Schwartz

UMOJA students Chuck NNodim, Tiante Lee-Thomas, Terrence Mullins, Kendra Smith, Aicha Brou, Shanice Mitchell and Mykelle D’Tiole

Camille Schwartz, Senior staff member

Diablo Valley College celebrates Black Month History this February and numerous events and activities are proposed to the students in order to have a better understanding of African American history.

This annual celebration is an occasion to acknowledge the achievements made by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.

The Umoja community here at DVC is dedicated to the academic success of African American students and organized a student panel on Feb.7.

“DVC students are mostly white, it can be hard for students of color to feel accepted,” said Umoja co-cordinator Heidi Goen-Salter, who conducted the panel.

After a short introduction, the panel composed of seven students part of the Umoja community talked about their experiences as African American students at DVC.

“I took a lot of classes and in almost all of them there wasn’t a lot of African American students, Umoja helped me feel like home,” said Terrence Mullins.

Indeed, this program helps students by providing them resources such as mentors, homework support, counseling and according to them, much more.

“Umoja linked me up with programs, teachers,” said Kendra Smith.

“I connected with the people from Umoja, when I got there I was blown away. I developed a sense of community,” said Shanice Mitchell.

This sense of community goes beyond the border of DVC and Umoja. Students created a family, especially for foreign students who had to deal with being in another country.

“People throw at your face that you are black but I am strong-minded and Umoja is family, it is like home, people care about you,” said Aicha Brou who is from Ivory Coast.

This support system is available for all DVC students, and the Umoja offices are located in the PUMA center.

Other events will take place at DVC throughout this month, all the dates are available on DVC’s website dvc.edu.

Editor’s note: A direct quote from Heidi Goen-Salter has been corrected.