Black History Month at COCC Offers Free Events |

Author Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts, a literary category winner at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards, is part of Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) engaging lineup of free public events in honor of Black History Month, presenting “Black Joy: A Strategy for Freedom, Healing, and Reckoning” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Wille Hall on the Bend campus, with a livestream option available. Register for the event and learn more about COCC’s Black History Month events, held in conjunction with the college’s annual Season of Nonviolence, at

In anticipation of the event, a discussion group centered on Lewis-Giggetts’ book “Black Joy” — the final planned book group to convene in advance of this presentation — will meet in person at the Unity Spiritual Community of Central Oregon, Tuesdays beginning Feb. 13 at 4:30 p.m. Contact to join.

Black History Month also includes a drum-making class that celebrates the lives and work of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and musician-activist Bob Marley from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at COCC’s Redmond campus, in the Technology Education Center. Celebrate the contributions of these two individuals — who exposed racism, poverty and violence while advocating for humanity — in this joyful event. Space is limited; RSVP Marcus LeGrand at or call 541-330-4376.

A film screening of “Blend: On Being Black in Bend” is showing at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, in the Bend campus’s Hitchcock Auditorium. The documentary by Kenny Adams, filmed and edited in Central Oregon, features 10 Black Central Oregonians speaking about their experiences living, working and playing on the High Desert.

For more information on these events, contact Marcus LeGrand, coordinator of COCC’s Afrocentric program at or 541-330-4376. In advance of college events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. For accommodation because of other disability, such as hearing impairment, contact disability services at 541-383-7583.

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