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National African-American History Month kicks off at Kirtland

Poster of Black History Month

A Department of Defense Black History Month poster is the first in a series of posters commemorating the 75th Anniversary of World War II. (Department of Defense courtesy photo)


In 1986, Congress passed Public Law 99-244, designating February as National Black (Afro-American) History Month. Team Kirtland’s African-American Heritage committee collaborated with Sandia National Laboratories’ Black Leadership Committee to honor and recognize achievements made by Black/African-Americans.

“It’s important to make sure we continue to highlight and celebrate the lives of those that have sacrificed to further equality and bridge the diversity gap,” said Albert Frisbey, African-American Heritage committee chairman. “This observance helps put a focus on the story of African-American culture and its contributions to history.”

The schedule includes:

  • February 5: Soul Food Kickoff event from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sandia Thunderbird Cafeteria. The cafeteria will have soul food on the menu every Wednesday and Thursday for the first three weeks of the month.
  • February 10:  Civil Rights Brown Bag Workshop from noon to 1 p.m. at Gravity. Guest speakers Torri Jacobus and Crystal Velarde from the City of Albuquerque Office of Civil Rights will be speaking about civil rights issues, policies, and law.
  • February 18: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Jr. Chapter Engineering Panel from 6-8 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center. The committees have collaborated with the Greater Albuquerque Chapter to complete various a hands-on activities.
  • February 20: Health Fair from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sandia Thunderbird Cafeteria. Healthcare professionals will educate participants on diseases and conditions that affect the African-American community.
  • February 25: Diversity Cinema from noon to 1 p.m. at the Steve Schiff Auditorium. There will be a showing of the film “African Americans and the Vote.” Guest speaker Professor Lonna Atkeson from the University of New Mexico will also be speaking about voting rights and the power of voting.
  • February 27: Soul Food Taster from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Base Chapel. The available menu will consist of a variety of traditional soul food selections to include fried catfish, fried chicken, sweet corn, collard greens, and red beans and rice. The cost is $10 per ticket.

For more information about any of the events, or to volunteer, contact Master Sgt. Danielle Lawson, at danielle.lawson.1@us.af.mil , or Albert Frisbey, at albert.frisbey.1@us.af.mil.