Remarks by President McKay Celebrating Black History Month

(Watch here)

THE PRESIDENT: The month of February is a time to celebrate the history, achievements, and leadership of the Black community, at the national level and in our local communities. Here at Penn State, we honor figures like Wally Tripplett and Jesse Arnelle who faced tremendous adversity during their time at this university, yet paved a better path forward for all students to come after. While these two figures are just a fraction of the Penn State alumni who should be celebrated this month, we also look to national pioneers like the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis. It’s my firm belief that we, the Penn State community, should commit ourselves to the ideals of and stand in solidarity with these Black leaders not just in the month of February, but throughout our entire lives.

This Black History Month, the UPUA will honor prominent Black leaders in our nation’s and community’s history over social media, and inform our fellow students about their significant contributions to the world we find ourselves in today. The UPUA has much work to make up for years of silence in celebration of this month’s history, and Penn State has much work to build a better and safer environment for our Black students at University Park. While we reflect on the accomplishments of Black Americans of the past and present, let us also reflect on how we can further promote justice and equity on our campus and in the State College area, so as to truly celebrate the inherent value and worth of each member of our community. I look forward to celebrating this month with you, and to joining you in building that better and safer world. Thank you very much.