Press release, Purdue University Northwest:

HAMMOND and WESTVILLE, Ind. — Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a lineup of events recognizing culture, achievements, community and history of Black Americans and the African diaspora.

“Black History Month serves as a vital platform for education, celebration and acknowledgment of the profound contributions of African Americans to every facet of society,” said Darien Thompson, PNW director of Student Success and Urban Engagement. “By sharing and celebrating these accomplishments with the community, we not only honor the rich heritage of the Black community but also promote understanding, empathy and solidarity among all.”

PNW’s Black History Month events will touch on a range of themes, including but not limited to student empowerment and expression, inequities in health and financial resources in urban communities, and Black history and art.

Health disparities and public health solutions

The public is invited to a social justice spotlight discussion of health disparities in urban communities and public health solutions with Dr. Michael McGee, an urgent care and occupational health physician who specializes in public health access. McGee will present from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Alumni Hall in the Student Union and Library Building on PNW’s Hammond campus. McGee, a PNW alumnus, will lead a discussion on the epidemic of gun violence, associated health care disparities, and the public health solutions to prevention.

Open mic night

An open mic night on Feb. 20 offers a place for poets, singers, and everybody in between to express themselves through performance. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Mane Zone, a student space in the Classroom Office Building on the Hammond campus.

Lunch and Lead virtual event

Thompson will be the featured speaker for the Feb. 21 Lunch and Lead offered by the Leadership Institute and Society of Innovators at PNW. Lunch and Lead is a free virtual speaker series featuring business and community leaders from varied economic sectors sharing life lessons. The event will be held via Zoom from noon to 12:45 p.m.

Ran’D Shine the Magician

Step into a mesmerizing realm where history, culture, and the enchanting world of magic converge on Feb. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall, located in the Student Union and Library Building on the PNW Hammond campus. Magician and comedian Ran’D Shine is known for performing “real magic for real people.” His magical style draws from his playful interactive relationship with his audience combined with psychological illusions, sleight of hand and storytelling.

Toast to Black Excellence

PNW’s annual black-tie event to honor the contributions made by the Black community at the university, the Toast to Black Excellence, is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Alumni Hall. The event is free, but registration is required.

For more details and to register to attend these educational and cultural events at PNW celebrating Black History Month, visit

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a premier metropolitan university dedicated to empowering transformational change in our students and in our community. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW values academic excellence, supports growth, and celebrates diversity. For more information about PNW, visit