Black History Month 2024

Dear Tulane Community:

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month: a time to celebrate, uplift and honor the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. As a university, we marshal our knowledge and resources year-round to shine a light on these accomplishments, in fields ranging from medicine to music to mathematics.

This past fall, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Tulane with a panel event featuring eight incredible alumni. Their stories and experiences were a powerful reminder of the strength and courage that Black Tulanians and community members have brought to our campuses throughout our history as we have worked to build a more inclusive Tulane.

Academic excellence and innovation thrive in an environment that welcomes and supports a diverse array of voices and perspectives. Through the President’s Commission on Equity and Tulane Values, we are continuing to create and support initiatives that share these stories and perspectives with the wider community—from the Tulane Trailblazers program to the History Project to the Tulane University Leadership Institute. These and other programs support our core goal of fostering an environment of academic excellence where all members of our community are represented and can succeed.

This month, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a special three-part Zoom series in honor of Black History Month. Sessions led by Tulane experts will educate attendees about the barriers faced by Black Americans, as well as explore the possibilities found in Black joy, healing and liberation. I hope you will make time to attend one or more of these sessions.

There is bound to be plenty of joy later this month at the inaugural Black Alumni Weekend. This reunion program will welcome alumni, along with their families and friends, to celebrate Black excellence at Tulane and beyond. The festivities will kick off with the Witmeyer Dean's Colloquium featuring Lisa Perez Jackson '83, who was the first African American Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and currently serves as Vice President of Environmental, Policy and Social Initiatives for Apple. This exciting event is open to the entire Tulane community.

Black History Month reminds us to explore and honor narratives that reflect the rich diversity of our nation. When we do so, we are better equipped to take on today’s challenges with informed discourse, rigorous scholarship and impactful research. Let’s not forget that tomorrow's history is being written every day.