The 2022 Woods Hole Black History Month Celebration!
Theme: Black Health and Wellness
Due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, the annual Harambee event has been canceled.
Review the details for each event below and continue to monitor this page for any changes or updates.
All events are free, open to the public and require advance registration.
Click here to see list of 2022 Black History Month Events
Please visit this page periodically as we anticipate future updates to our programming.
Every year, members of the Woods Hole Community come together to celebrate Black History Month to build a stronger community through diversity. Our Committee serves the six scientific research institutions in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. We have since the 1870’s been a hub and center for scientific discovery in the marine sciences, oceanography, fisheries sciences, medical research, and many more areas of STEM. The purpose of our Committee is to work towards an inclusive and welcoming place for all and hosting events, lectures, and talks each year around diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our governance. The committee is supported by Falmouth Academy and additional outstanding members of our community.
Special Event: 2022 Black History Month Student Contest
"This year’s Black History Month theme is Black health and wellness. For the Woods Hole Black History Month student contest we are asking students to think about innovative ways to help alleviate healthcare disparities in the African American community. Health disparities are defined as inequities in access or the quality of treatment based on racial, socio-economic, geographical residence, or other marginalized demographics.”
$1,000 in award prizes available to top Contestants
The Woods Hole Black History Month Committee will be awarding two $500 prize awards to the top two contestants
- Submissions Due by: February 28 @ 11:59 PM EST
- Contest Winners will be notified in early March
About the 2022 theme, from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
"The theme for 2022 focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.
In order to foster good health and wellness Black people have embarked on self-determination, mutual aid and social support initiatives to build hospitals, medical and nursing schools (i.e. Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Provident Hospital and Training School, Morehouse School of Medicine, etc.) and community clinics. Clinics were established by individuals, grassroots organizations and mutual aid societies, such as the African Union Society, National Association of Colored Women and Black Panther Party, to provide spaces for Black people to counter the economic and health disparities and discrimination that are found at mainstream institutions. These disparities and anti-Blackness led to communities developing phrases such as “When white folks catch a cold, Black folks get pneumonia.” Initiatives to help decrease disparities have centered several outcomes, including having more diverse practitioners and representation in all segments of the medical and health programs including such as the Ronald E. McNair Scholars. Even the impact of popular culture texts like Doc McStuffins cannot be dismissed.
The rise of fields, such as Public and Community Health and Health Informatics have led to a rise in preventive care and a focus on body positivity, physical exercise, nutrition, exploring other dietary options such as veganism and vegetarianism, and gardening. Black Health and Wellness not only includes one’s physical body, but also emotional and mental health. At this point in the 21st century, our understanding of Black health and wellness is broader and more nuanced than ever. Social media and podcasts, such as The Read, hosted by Crissle and Kid Fury have normalized talking about mental health and going to therapy as well as initiatives such as Therapy for Black Girls. More of us understand the need to hold down, lift up, center, and fight fiercely for our beloved trans siblings and family. Black girls are doing breathwork, and there are whole yoga studios dedicated to people of color.
Mindful of Sister Audre Lorde’s words, we are doing more to move forward holistically for the betterment of ourselves, our bodies, our relationships, our communities, and our planet.
We are determined to create a platform that shines a light on the multiple facets of Black health and wellness through education and activism. There is much to uncover, amplify, question, and correct.
In the still overhanging shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black people should and do use data and other information-sharing modalities to document, decry, and agitate against the interconnected, intersecting inequalities intentionally baked into systems and structures in the U.S. for no other reason than to curtail, circumscribe, and destroy Black well-being in all forms and Black lives. Moreover, Black communities must look to the past to provide the light for our future, by embracing the rituals, traditions and healing modalities of our ancestors. These ways of knowing require a decolonization of thought and practice."
Thursday, February 3 at 6PM ET
Virtual book reading of I AM EVERY GOOD THING and The Me I Choose to Be, in partnership with Footprints Café
Read by Stefanie Corbin, owner of Footprints Café. The books are appropriate for ages ~4-8.
Footprints Cafe is a black, woman-owned, bookstore. A place where inclusivity and diversity is celebrated and honored. A bookstore where people and authors of color voices are amplified and represented in their fullness.
Film Synopsis: A breakthrough called CRISPR has given us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere, and designing our own children. Human Nature is a provocative exploration of CRISPR’s far-reaching implications, through the eyes of the scientists who discovered it, the families it’s affecting, and the bioengineers who are testing its limits. How will this new power change our relationship with nature? What will it mean for human evolution? To begin to answer these questions we must look back billions of years and peer into an uncertain future.
Wednesday, Feb 16 at 6:30 PM ET
Yoga 4 All with Linda Wells
Linda Wells, M. Ed., CYT-500, is Linda Wellness Warrior, Yoga Instructor specializing in Resiliency and Stress Management. Linda is an African American cis-gendered, plus-sized woman residing on the land of the Massachuett (Cambridge, MA). She is a social disruptor of unhealthy societal ideals. Linda offers classes that make the yoga practice inclusive through variations, language, and location.
Linda wants to give people the skills to mitigate the challenging circumstances of their lives. Linda Wellness Warrior exists to teach that wellness is your birthright.
Workshop description: This workshop will help dispel the mythology that you have to be thin, white, young, and flexible to get the benefits of a practice of Yoga. Yoga is a powerful tool that everyone has access to, to relieve stress and improve health. The practice of yoga is beneficial to all bodies, all shapes, and all abilities. Join Linda Wells, for Yoga for All which encourages you to show up as you are and experience the kind of practice that you need on any given day. This class explores how using props can make yoga accessible and adaptable for everyone regardless of age, size, or ability. Practice how you’re comfortable with options to stay seated on your mat, standing, or moving between the two.
Thursday, February 17 at Noon ET
Who Inherits the Waves?, in partnership with the WHOI Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
A discussion about closing the racial gap in swimming skills and water competency.
Dr. Jeff Wiltse - Noted historian and author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America
Dr. Nevada Winrow - Founder and President of Black Girls Dive Foundation
Carlee Jackson - Director of Communications for Minorities in Shark Sciences and a member of Black in Marine Science
Jaida Elcock - Director of Public Relations for Minorities in Shark Sciences and a PhD candidate IN in the MIT/WHOI joint program
Moderator - Gwyneth Packard, a member of the Woods Hole Black History Month Committee, and a Black/White biracial engineer, WHOI.
Wednesday, February 23 at Noon ET
The History & Future of Black Mental Health and Wellness
Presented by Maryam Ajayi, Founder and CEO of Dive in Well
Maryam Ajayi is the Founder and CEO of Dive in Well, a lifestyle and wellness platform that catalyzes social and cultural transformation by centering the well-being of marginalized people through bespoke content creation, programming, brand collaborations, and corporate education.
She has 15 years experience working across multiple sectors from politics to fintech and has gained expertise in growing businesses from Fortune 5 companies, to trade associations, to start ups through a dynamic blend of business development, growth strategy, innovation, storytelling, and building relationships.
Workshop description: A 60 minute workshop where Maryam will leads us through exploration of well-being and mental health centering the Black community. We will take a look back at the historical implications of Black Health and Wellness and look to a future that supports the healing and well-being of Black communities in order to create a world in which we may all be well.
Thursday, February 24 at 6:30PM ET
What Lies Beneath: Unearthing Not-So-Subtle Roadblocks to Wellness
Presented by Dr. Misty Boachie, the Founder and CEO of Excavate Wellness.
Dr. Boachie is a Pharmacotherapy Board Certified Pharmacist, currently serving in leadership at Northside Hospital. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Georgia ('01) and Master of Business Administration from George Washington University ('17). She completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at Columbus Regional Healthcare System ('02). She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Kofi, and sons, August (12yo) and Alistair (10yo).
Presentation abstract: An intimate, solutions-oriented exploration of often unexamined obstacles to achieving optimal physical and emotional wellbeing namely trauma, addiction, and mental illness. This lecture will be a 30 minute presentation followed by 30 mins of Q&A.
Monday, February 28 at 7PM ET
COVID-19 and Health Inequality - The Strained Alchemy of Two Pandemics
Presented by Dr. Kathryn Hall, Deputy Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission
Dr. Kathryn Hall is the Deputy Executive Director for Population Health and Health Equity at the Boston Public Health Commission. After receiving her PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University she spent 10 years in the biotech industry tackling problems in drug discovery and development where she became an Associate Director of Drug Development. Dr. Hall returned to Harvard Medical School in 2010, joining the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2012, and receiving a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2014. Dr. Hall is also an Assistant Professor part-time in the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and serves as the Interim Director of Basic and Translational Research at Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hall also has a Masters in Documentary Film from Emerson College.
**COVID-19 protocols/requirements for Falmouth Academy**
Proof of vaccination required and masks must be worn at all times.
Big thanks to the committee who worked to make this 2022 Black History Month schedule of events:
Larry Alade, Co-Chair
Onjalé Scott Price, Co-Chair
Woods Hole Black History Month events are sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Science Center, the Woodwell Climate Research Center , Sea Education Association and Falmouth Academy. All events are free and open to the public.