The keynote address by Hill, a prominent educator and television commentator, on February 5 kicked off a month-long celebration of African-American culture and heritage on both campuses.
Sean Ramsden

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill urged students to honor the tradition of Black History Month.

A keynote address from noted educator and television contributor Dr. Marc Lamont Hill on February 5 introduced a month-long Black History Month celebration, titled Moving Forward Toward Success, at Rider University. More than a dozen events, ranging from the spiritual to the artistic and historical, will acquaint the University community with the African-American experience throughout February. Rider’s Black History Month celebration is presented by the Black Student Union.

“The black freedom movement has been marked by a commitment to deep listening, listening to perspectives that were different, a belief that everyone has something to offer,” said Hill, an associate professor of education at Columbia University Teachers College and a former political contributor to Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and Court TV, at his address. “We are stronger when we listen to someone who is different.”

Hill earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focused on the relationship between culture, politics and education. He said that while the election of President Barack Obama is certainly not the endpoint of progress for racial equality in the United States, it did nevertheless represent a landmark moment in the history of African-Americans.

“Just 44 years after the Civil Right Act, we elected our first black president,” Hill said. “That shows that we are a nation that doesn’t just grow old. It grows up.”

Hill’s address was just the first of many scheduled events.

Because spring semester classes were not yet in session during the actual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Department of Service Learning for Campus Life will host a day of service on Friday, February 15. Organizers are looking for volunteers to participate in afterschool programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton. Some 80 students participated in the service project last year and organizers are expecting a similar turnout this year. For more information, please contact Jane Sanchez at [email protected].

Several other Rider organizations will also present a series of events during the month-long celebration.


February 7

Common Cents: Money Management Tips
Joseph A. Vona Academic Annex, Rooms 23 and 24, 5 to 6 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m.
Join two workshops facilitated by Rider alumni from the financial field. RSVP at 609-895-5614 by February 5, as there is a 20 student limit per workshop.

February 8

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Reflections of the African American Experience
Westminster Choir College campus, Bristol Chapel, 8 p.m.

February 12

Black History Month Jeopardy!
Mercer Room, 6:30 p.m.
Test your knowledge of black history in this quiz-style game.

February 13

Black History Month Worship Service
Gill Chapel, 6 p.m.
Join the Rev. Tamara Davis and the Unashamed Gospel Choir for an evening of music and the Word. Dinner to follow. For more information, contact the Rev. Katie Mulligan at [email protected] or 805-448-9641.

February 15

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
For more information, contact Jane Sanchez at [email protected].

February 16

Trip to the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
Baltimore, Md.
For more information about this trip, contact Ashley Theosmy, Black Student Union president, at [email protected].

February 18

Black and Hispanic Alliance Open Mic Night
Westminster Choir College Dining Commons, 8 p.m.

February 19

Screening of the film Elza, followed by discussion with director Mariette Monpierre
Sweigart Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Elza, a Parisian student returning to her birthplace of Guadeloupe to find her father whom she barely remembers, makes her way into his luxurious home by posing as a babysitter for his 6-year-old granddaughter, only to discover a family marked by adultery, mental illness and racism.

February 20

Greek Organizations Round Table
Science & Technology Center, Room 201
Join a conversation with the Divine Nine Greek Organizations while they discuss their history and the changes they have seen in the past century.

February 21

African Drumming Seminar
Westminster Choir College Campus, Recital Hall, 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

February 24

Gospel Fest
Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room, 5 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of praise, music and worship.

February 27

Freedom of Black Voices
Fireside Lounge, 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy the spoken word of Rider’s own, as well as others in our community.

For more information, please visit or contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 609-895-5781.