Black History Month

Graphic reads Black History Month. Black is in white and red background, History is white and yellow background and month is white and green background. Four fisted hands are on each corner of the graphic.

Black History Month is a celebration and acknowledgment of achievements by Black people throughout our history.

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement honors outstanding figures in our field, Black traditions, history and culture with joy and pride.

Celebrate and Learn More About Black History Month

Black History Month at UB by The Office of Inclusive Excellence

UB celebrates the contributions that Blacks have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality and deepens our understanding of our nation’s history.

Black History Month Timeline

A detailed and informative timeline about the origins of Black History Month.

Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement Archive offers a repository of up from below and inside-out history as seen and interpreted by the participants whose boots were on the ground.

We Want To Hear From You Initiative

Yes, we want to hear from you! What we are looking for is to build a digital library with a plethora of resources that we can promote to build a better and more inclusive community, with engaged, committed and inspiring individuals that want to do the work to be better, and would like to see their community do the same.

Please share with us how you learn about : 

  • racism
  • social justice
  • health inequities
  • black culture
  • race bias
  • any topic of interest related to black heritage

Your recommendations can be:

  • books
  • podcasts
  • videos
  • movies
  • articles

Help us learn and grow through your perspective

Honoring Buffalo Leaders

Our Leaders at the Jacobs School

Remi Adelaiye-Ogala, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Remi Adelaiye-Ogala, PhD, Assistant Professor, Jacobs School Portrait.

Remi Adelaiye-Ogala, PhD

Adelaiye-Ogala is one of the Jacobs School’s most recent additions in the Department of Medicine. She is a principal investigator leading transformational basic to translational (GU) cancer research, while being a committed mentor for students.

Henry L. Taylor Jr., PhD, Director of the Center for Urban Studies

Henry L. Taylor Jr., PhD portrait.

Henry L. Taylor Jr., PhD

Taylor’s research focuses on a historical and contemporary analysis of distressed urban neighborhoods, social isolation, race and class issues among people of color. He has been fundamental to the development of MUSE curriculum.

David A. Milling, MD, Executive Director, Office of Medical Education

David Milling, MD, Executive Director, Office of Medical Education portrait.

David A. Milling, MD

Milling is one of the most popular leaders at the Jacobs School. As a mentor, he provides guidance, motivation and support to all our students. His commitment runs deep to diversify our faculty and the workforce in medicine.

Shawn Gibson, Medical Student, MD ’23

Shawn Gibson, MD23 Portrait.

Shawn Gibson, MD ’23

A natural leader and a mentor. One of the founders of Black Men in White Coats and White Coats for Black Lives, he creates initiatives to dismantle racism and increase representation. He has inspired change amongst his fellow peers and our faculty 

Leaders in Our Community

The Black Gems Dive In Podcast with Kendra Brim and Ekua Mends-Aidoo

We highlight the Black Gems Dive In Podcast for Black History Month to elevate the voices of true leaders in Buffalo, NY, and bring to the forefront the most important and relevant perspectives in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Crews Control Media presents the Black Gems Dive in Podcast, a weekly conversation about inclusive cultures and everything diversity, equity and inclusion. The podcast is hosted by Kua and Kendra, two diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners located in the Western New York region. Each episode features insightful interviews and discussion. 

Kendra Brim, MBA Author, Community Advocate and Entrepreneur

Kendra Brim, MBA Portrait.

Kendra Brim

A DEI practitioner that focuses on making organizations equitable and inclusive places to work. Brim is an active community advocate driving change and influencing outcomes in WNY.

Ekua Mends-Aidoo, CCDP, Chief People & Diversity Officer at Evergreen Health

Ekua Mends-Aidoo, CCDP, Chief People & Diversity Officer, Evergreen Health Portrait.

Ekua Mends-Aidoo

A powerful champion for inclusion and one of the first in Buffalo advocating for creating  programs and workplace cultures for diverse and underserved populations. 

Celebrating Black History Month at the Jacobs School

Presented by the Graduate Student Prehealth Association

Last year, the Graduate Student Prehealth Association honored our Jacobs School community, featuring our leaders and most iconic Black representatives.

One of them was (and in our hearts still is) our beloved Dr. Daniels. This year, a special recognizition to his legacy in rememberance of this celebration.

  • Jonathan Daniels, MD Portrait.
    Jonathan Daniels, MD

    “My life mission is to eliminate the term ‘underrepresented minorities in medicine!’ All people, all cultures, all religions need to be viewed as worthwhile, as such that no preference is given to one’s status and that everybody stands on the merits of their actions, and not by their appearance of their skin and beliefs. To the future of medicine it is vital that you allow yourself latitude to grow and develop. Be willing to open your mind. Listen to those you have gone before you. Do not let anybody devalue your dreams and goals!”

    Jonathan Daniels, MD
    Associate director of admissions

What Black History Month Means to You

  • Anyango Kamina, PhD Portrait.
    Anyango Kamina, PhD

    “Equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM and health care means providing equitable opportunities to STEM education and careers, as well as equitable access to culturally competent health care. Future doctors and scientists, it is important to create your network of positive sources of reinforcement, i.e., mentors, friends, family and allies, as you pursue your degree and start your career. These are the people that will help guide you and uplift you in the times that you need it most.”

    Anyango Kamina, PhD
    Assistant dean of student development and academic enhancement

  • Jamal Williams, PhD Portrait.
    Jamal Williams, PhD

    “Black History Month gives us a chance to reflect on all the contributions made by individuals who had to overcome immense obstacles for a greater purpose. Through this reflection, we know that we stand on the shoulders of giants who've paved the way for us. In science, I hope our current generation can use both the historical triumph and tragedies as a springboard for success while striving to push the field forward. Black history is not only our foundation, it is also what we do now!”

    Jamal Williams, PhD
    Postdoctoral Associate, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

  • Sydney Johnson Portrait.
    Sydney Johnson

    “Most of the time when we talk about equity, diversity, and inclusion people tune themselves out while having the perception that it does not apply to them. Rather than internalizing it, they are just being present for the conversation. We must make sure people are engaging in these conversations enough to change the way they think and change their hearts because at the end of the day the people you are caring for and the people lives you are saving matter!”

    Sydney Johnson
    SNMA VicePresident
    Medical student, Class of 2025

  • Kwaku Bonsu Portrait.
    Kwaku Bonsu

    “Increasing diversity in medicine increases trust between underserved communities and the health care system, which is a major contribution in the gaps we see in medicine. My mission is to be about the solution to the health care disparities that my community faces and be the representation for premedical students, because I know how it feels not to have that guidance.”

    Kwaku Bonsu
    SNMA MAPS Liaison
    Medical student, Class of 2025

  • Keyanna Brown, MS Portrait.
    Keyanna Brown

    “To me, equity, diversity and inclusion in medicine extends past February when everyone decides to recognize Black History Month and the various accomplishments of my people. True equity, diversity and inclusion means having people like me in the same room as others. We need more women of color in medicine representing the needs of the next generation. Being that role model inspires me everyday to continue this journey of pursuing a career in medicine.”

    Keyanna Brown
    Master’s program alumna, ’21

  • Neneyo Mate-Kole Portrait.
    Neneyo Mate-Kole

    “Pursuing a career in medicine is a tough road. There will be ups and downs during the journey. It is crucial to remember your why! With a great support system and mentors, you will be set to accomplish any goal. In the future, I will create a pipeline program that allows people that look like me to have easier access to mentors in STEM fields.”

    Neneyo Mate-Kole
    Medical student, Class of 2022

Celebrating Black History Month Historically at UB

From its founding in 1846, the University at Buffalo never had a policy of exclusion on the basis of race, gender or religion. UB educated African American doctors in an era when few such people were educated in predominately white institutions.

Take Action, Donate, Get Involved

Find a way to engage with the Buffalo community!

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is a political and social movement protesting against racially motivated violence against black people.

African American Cultural Center

Buffalo’s African American Cultural Center is a multicultural institution that facilitates a better understanding of cultural diversity among all people.

Support Black-Owned Small Businesses in Buffalo

Help your community. Buy local. Here is a comprehensive guide of small businesses in Buffalo that need your support.

African American Heritage Corridor

Michigan Street is the focal point of residents’ and visitors’ experience for learning about Buffalo’s rich African American history.

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

This Center reveals authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls.

Black History Month Official Website

The Library of Congress, NARA, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, NPS, Smithsonian Institution and US Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to African Americans.