Black History Month

Viterbi Black Employees Group's Mission

To retain, mentor, and empower USC Viterbi African American employees; building a supportive community through social, educational, cultural awareness, and professional development programming.

2022 Celebrating Black Excellence

This year, we will be celebrating African American Cuisine and discussing its origins. We will look at how building of the interstate system disrupted thriving Black communities' excellence. We will also share the efforts underway to attract Black engineering students to Viterbi.

Previous Black History Activity

In 2021, the Viterbi Black Employee Resource Group Presented a Black History Month 4 Part Discussion Series of The New York Times' 1619 Project

Poster for an event celebrating Black excellence with four sessions: 'African American Cuisine Part 1' on 2/2 at noon, 'Racism and Highway System' on 2/9 at noon, 'Recruiting African Americans to Viterbi' on 2/16 at noon, and 'African American Cuisine Part 2' on 2/23 at noon. The poster features a raised fist symbol at the bottom.

Celebrating Black Excellence Series (virtual)


Week 1 - 02/02/2022

12 Noon - (must use USC netID)    

African American Cuisine Part 1

Week 2 - 02/9/2022

12 Noon - (must use USC netID)

Racism and the Highway System

Week 3 - 02/16/2022

12 Noon - (must use USC netID)

Recruiting African Americans to Viterbi

Join Kevin Henry, Viterbi’s Director of Graduate Diversity Outreach, as he discusses the past, present and future of Viterbi’s ever evolving graduate diversity recruitment plan. He will be joined by Danielle White, Ph.D. Materials Science, and Detravious Brinkley, M.S. Computer Science, to take an in-depth look at why they chose to pursue their graduate degrees at Viterbi and what their experience has been like since leaving their respective Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This session will include a presentation, panel discussion, and time for Q&A.

Week 4 - 02/23/2022

12 Noon - (must use USC netID)

African American Cuisine Part 2

Other Black History Celebration Events

Banner for Black History Month celebrating Black joy, embracing health and vitality. The banner features images of a smiling person in a USC sweatshirt, a person stretching in a yoga pose, a woman smiling confidently, and a man joyfully holding a laughing child.

USC Black History Month Calendar

Please click on the calendar link below to know more about the USC Black History Month Events. 

Banner for Black History Month with bold white text on a background featuring cardinal red, green, and yellow colors.

USC Libraries

The USC Libraries has many resources to aid you in exploring the connections between black communities and STEM

- Streaming Media:

  • Explore a wide variety of streaming media, including documentary films, educational videos, and feature films.

- eBooks:

- Library Displays

Poster for the 38th Annual UC Santa Cruz Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation featuring a black and white photo of Martin Luther King Jr. on the right side.

38th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Convocation

Host:  UC Santa Cruz
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Time: 5:30 p.m. (virtual event)
Details and Registration:

The annual convocation celebrates the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by presenting speakers who discuss the civil rights issues of equality, freedom, justice, and opportunity. The convocation also seeks to build partnerships and develop dialogue within the campus community and with the local communities served by the university.

This year we welcome Ruha Benjamin, professor in the Department of African American studies at Princeton University where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine. Dr. Benjamin is also the founding director of the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, and a faculty associate in the Center for Information Technology Policy, Program on History of Science, Center for Health and Wellbeing, and Program on Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Feedback from 2021 Black History Month Presentations

Learn More about last year's celebration Here

“Through the reading, I learned about many more important historical figures: Robert Hemings, William Goodell, Martin Delaney, Hiram Revels, etc. That "The United States is a nation founded on both an ideal and a lie." While I was aware that the systems of oppression against Black people were there, I didn't know that they were so far-reaching and sinister.”

“Working to eradicate racial inequities requires consistent awareness. We can't do one thing and think we are done. This is a deep-seated issue and requires unity and vigilance if we are to remove this stain from the future of this nation. We can't give up or show complacence. I also came to realize I was raised by truly wonderful people who were excellent role models on what it means to show humanity and kindness to all people.”

“There is so much history that was left out of what they taught in school, so I enjoyed learning. It is always good to be exposed to new information. Learning of what others have gone through and their experiences.“


"I thought the open mic worked just fine as everyone was very respectful and patient. Big shout out to Rhesa and presenters for this courageous move. "

"You could see that as people grew more comfortable there was more participation. I think as people see this as a safe space then it will continue."

"These were the first discussions/presentations on this matter that I have attended where I didn't feel bad/guilty for being born white. "

Published on January 24th, 2022

Last updated on June 6th, 2024