Commemorating Black History Month 2023

Archival photo of civil rights march on Washington, D.C. in 1963 showing women holding signs to demand equal rights

Dear CUNY SPS Community:

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, an important observance designated to honor the contributions of past and present generations of Black people in the United States and beyond.

This year’s commemoration comes at a particularly tragic and painful time, as we continue to mourn and protest the shocking death of Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten by Memphis police just weeks ago. This fatal assault upon an innocent 29-year-old Black person serves as the latest grim reminder of the deeply rooted racism within our country—and especially within our law enforcement—and his unjust death will add even more gravity to our observance of Black History Month this February. 

In addition to the dialogue spurred by Nichols, I would like to invite you all to explore some illuminating Black History Month resources curated by the CUNY SPS Committee on Institutional Equity and Diversity (CIED):

Important Black History Month Topics

National Organizations Sponsoring Black History Month Events and Programs

Local Cultural Organizations Featuring Black Artists and Events

Local Black History Month Events for Kids

Local Black-Owned and Operated Bookstores

For more information, visit the CIED Resources page. Additionally, I invite everyone to attend some of the Black History Month events hosted at CUNY schools.

Whatever you may personally choose to do to mark Black History Month over the coming weeks, I hope that it deepens your understanding of our country’s complex race relations and the way that Black Americans have—and continue to—persevere in the face of tremendous hardship, prejudice, and hate.

All the best,


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Jorge Silva-Puras

Interim Dean, CUNY School of Professional Studies