Laker Life Briefs

OMA kicks off Black History Month at GV

Grand Valley State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs is once again taking February to celebrate the history, culture, traditions and contributions of African Americans.

A full schedule of the month’s events can be found on their website at The celebration kicks off with two events this week, as well as a few contributions from GV offices outside the OMA.

Discussion focuses on resilience of Black Americans

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, the OMA will be hosting Cle Jackson, the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for a discussion on the racial divide in the United States. The conversation will focus on strategies that everyone can employ in order to create a more equitable society.

The virtual presentation will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. over Zoom. Those interested in attending can get the Zoom link by registering for the event on the OMA’s website.

Memories from Historic Woodland Park

When “family vacations” became popular in the early twentieth century, segregation kept Black families from the same hotels, restaurants and resorts as white Americans. In response, Black entrepreneurs created their own resort communities, including right here in West Michigan.

The Kutsche Office of Local History is inviting author and historian Dianna Cross Toran to give a presentation on the generational stories of one very central resort community, Woodland Park in Newaygo County. The webinar will take place from 2-3 p.m. over Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Those interested can RSVP on their website at

Conversations focus on Black student experience

The OMA will be centering the conversation about Black history on Grand Valley State University itself on Friday, Feb. 5, during a discussion on how prejudice impacts Black students in GVSU classrooms. The event will be held virtually over Zoom from 1-2 p.m., and those interested in attending can register ahead of time on the OMA’s website.