Black History Month Newsletter

March 1, 2021
Rocky Vista University News Room

Black History Month Newsletter | February 2021

Black Histroy Month101
Black Histroy Month102

Pioneers of Science, Medicine, and the Arts

Contributions by Adrian Clark, Diversity and Inclusion Officer

For Black History Month, RVU spotlighted several Black American men and women who made significant contributions to the fields of science, medicine, and the arts. These pioneers include Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first open heart surgery in 1893; Katherine Johnson, mathematical genius who mapped the trajectory of the first American manned flight into space; Vivien Thomas, who developed a procedure used to treat blue baby syndrome; and Berry Gordy Jr., founder of the iconic Motown Records, to name a few!

Read more profiles on the RVU Blog here.

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Black Histroy Month104

A Game of Kahoot! with RVU

The RVU-SU D&I Committee and the RVU-CO SNMA hosted a game on the platform Kahoot! which provides fun game-based learning for participants.

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This Kahoot! game session, which took place on Tuesday, February 23rd, included engaging discussion questions relevant to Black History Month.

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From Here Forward: Taking the Next Steps as a University

The RVU Inaugural Summit for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will wrap up tonight with a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Manuel Del Real, Executive Director of HSI Initiatives and Inclusion at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

The Summit was hosted by the RVU-CO Student Diversity Taskforce and spanned the course of a month. Previous sessions were:

- "What is Implicit Bias?"

- "What is Health Equity?"

- "Hands on Bias"

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Black Histroy Month107

Black Men in White Coats Documentary Screening

RVUers also celebrated Black History Month with a special screening of the documentary film "Black Men in White Coats" on Wednesday, February 17th. A discussion was led by Dr. Dennis Spencer, Attending Physician in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital and Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. William McDade, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Film, Book, and Podcast Recommendations



  • If Beale Street Could Talk (2018): A romantic drama film about a couple, Fonny and Tish, who fight for justice after Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Available on Hulu.
  • Malcom X (1992): "Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam." Available on Prime Video.
  • 13th (2016): Directed by Ava DuVernay, this documentary takes an "in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality." Can be viewed on Netflix.
  • Fruitvale Station (2013): "The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008." Available on Netflix.
  • King In The Wilderness (2018): This HBO documentary, winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Historical Documentary, followed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the last few years of his life. Watch it on YouTube or Prime Video.
  • Fences (2016): "A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life." Available on Prime Video.
  • Something the Lord Made (2004): A biographical drama film about "the black cardiac pioneer Vivien Thomas (1910 - 1985) and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock (1899 - 1964), the 'Blue Baby doctor' who pioneered modern heart surgery. " Available on HBO Max.
  • When They See Us (2019): Five young teenagers from Harlem are falsely accused of a brutal sexual attack in Central Park. Based on a true story. Available on Netflix.
  • Just Mercy (2019): This powerful and thought-provoking true story recounts the work of world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson in freeing a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. Available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube TV, Apple TV, and HBO Max.
  • Selma (2014): This story chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. Available on Hulu, YouTube TV, and Apple TV.
  • Harriet (2016): The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves, changing the course of history. Available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube TV, Apple TV, and HBO Max.
  • John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020): "An intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism — from the bold teenager on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement to the legislative powerhouse he was throughout his career." Available on HBO Max.


  • Still Processing, a podcast hosted by Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, culture writers for The New York Times, in which they try to understand "the pleasures and pathologies of America in 2020."
  • Code Switch, "hosted by journalists of color, [this] podcast tackles the subject of race head-on."
  • Snap Judgement, a podcast that "mixes real stories with killer beats to produce cinematic, dramatic, kick-ass radio. Snap’s raw, musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see the world through the eyes of another. This is storytelling… with a BEAT!!"
  • Truth Be Told, hosted by journalist Tonya Mosely (she/her), this podcast "explores how you can be you in a world that doesn't always want you to be."
  • 1619, "An audio series from The Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery."


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