Multicultural affairs expert discusses importance of Black History Month

“Awareness and education are key to ending racial discrimination,” James says.

Published Feb. 12, 2013

Morayma JamesMorayma James, coordinator of Lynn University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, a division of Student Life, says "Black History Month is important because it draws attention to the many contributions and accomplishments of blacks in America."

Each February, the United States celebrates Black History Month. Originating in 1926 and founded by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week, the month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln who were both born in that month.

"Although we have made strides to eradicate racial discrimination in America, it continues to be an issue," James said. "The 2008 election of our first black president, Barack Obama, shows how far we have come, yet we still have a long road ahead. We need more dialogue about racial issues. Awareness and education are key to ending racial discrimination."

Black History at Lynn

Lynn, who welcomes students from more than 80 nations, is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a university with one of the highest percentage of international students in the nation.

With a focus on international education, Lynn's Office of Multicultural Affairs teaches students about a variety of cultures and uses national celebrations like Black History Month as a springboard for learning.

"It is important for students not only to understand recent history concerning African-Americans, but also to understand their past," James said. "During Black History Month Lynn's Black Student Union and Office of Multicultural Affairs collaborate to provide educational programs such as guest speakers, films, artists and panel discussions."

More on James

Morayma James, coordinator of Lynn University's Office of Multicultural Affairs, a division of Student Life, also serves as the adviser to several student groups including: the Black Student Union, the Organization of Latin American Students and Project: Be The Change. She also oversees Lynn's Chinese Culture Club and the International Affairs Society.

While at Lynn, James has co-chaired the Disability Awareness Month committee and is one of three co-chairs of the South Florida Diversity Alliance. The South Florida Diversity Alliance is committed to promoting collaboration, empowerment and communication between the campuses and communities in South Florida.

In this role, James can speak to the media regarding the importance of multicultural education, national celebrations in diversity including Black History Month and Lynn's role in encouraging a more diverse and inclusive community.