Eunique Jones Coming to UM for Black History Month Observance

'Because of Them, We Can' founder's address highlights events

Activist Eunique Jones is the keynote speaker for Black History Month observances at UM in February. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Eunique Jones, creator of the “Because of Them, We Can” campaign, is the keynote speaker for Black History Month observances at the University of Mississippi.

Jones’ address is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 13 in Fulton Chapel. Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained from the Ole Miss Box Office in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts beginning Monday (Jan. 30).

“Over the years, notable African-Americans such as Cornel West, Marian Wright Edelman, Michael Eric Dyson and Myrlie Evers-Williams have been invited to provide the Black History Month keynote address,” said Shawnboda Mead, director of UM’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. “We believe Ms. Jones will be equally as dynamic and that she will provide a very memorable experience for everyone in attendance.”

Mead said she hopes that all members of the university community will take advantage of this opportunity to hear from Jones.

“In 2013, Eunique launched the ‘Because of Them, We Can’ campaign during Black History Month with a mission to empower the next generation to honor the legacy of their ancestors through their own individual pursuit of greatness,” Mead said. “The campaign went viral and is now considered to be one of the most prolific and virally successful black history campaigns of all time.

“As our university strives to be a leader in racial reconciliation and inclusivity, this year’s keynote address is a continuation of our educational efforts. Therefore, we look forward to engaging with Ms. Jones and learning more about the founding, as well as the guiding principles, of ‘Because of Them, We Can.'”

Other scheduled activities include:

Feb. 1 – Opening Celebration: 4 p.m. in Fulton Chapel. Featuring the UM Gospel Choir; a welcome from Katrina Caldwell, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion; a keynote address by Judith Meredith; and the presentation of the annual “Lift Every Voice” Awards.

Feb. 3 – Black Student Union’s fourth annual Black History Month Gala: 6 p.m. in the Inn at Ole Miss. Admission is free for UM students, faculty and staff. Tickets available from Ole Miss Box Office beginning Jan. 23.

Feb. 6 – “Lift Every Voice & Sing: The Black National Anthem Lecture”: 5:30 p.m. in Paris-Yates Chapel. Presented by Tim Askew, associate professor of English at Clark Atlanta University.

Feb. 6 – “Of Ebony Embers”: 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium. The musical performance will retell the story of the Harlem Renaissance.

Feb. 8 – “Digital Activism: How to Leverage Social Media for #BlackLives”: 6 p.m. in Overby Center Auditiorium.

Feb. 9 – Film Series: “Race”: 5 p.m. at FedEx Student Athlete Academic Support Center auditorium.

Feb. 10 – “When the South Still Got Something to Say: A Conversation about Hip-Hop in the South”: Scholar Regina N. Bradley and writer Kiese Laymon at 2 p.m. in Barnard Observatory.

Feb. 11 – National PanHellenic Council Greek Garden Dedication: 10 a.m. at NPHC Garden.

Feb. 17 – Film Series: “I Am Not Your Negro”: 7 p.m. at Malco Oxford Commons. Hosted by Oxford Film Festival, documentary features writer James Baldwin discussing race in modern America.

Feb. 18 – Black History Month Concert: “Langston Hughes: Poetry in Song”: 7:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium.

Feb. 21 – Soul Food Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Luckyday Residential College dining hall. Attendees will be able to use meal plans or purchase meals at regular rate.

Feb. 21 – “Dr. Bill Bynum: Poverty and Mobility in Mississippi”: 5 p.m. in the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, Room 1115. Former chairman of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Advisory Board and CEO of Hope Credit Union will lecture, followed by Q&A.

Feb. 21 – “Black Women Matter” Dialogue Series: 7 p.m. in Lamar Hall, Room 327.

Feb. 21 – “Women of the Blues: A Tribute to Memphis Minnie and Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins”: At 2 p.m. in J.D. Williams Library, third floor.

Feb. 23 – Black History Month Concert: 7:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium.

Feb. 27 – “Brown Bag Lecture on Slavery and Public History”: Historian Mary Battles discusses slavery and its class legacies in Charleston, South Carolina, at noon in Barnard Observatory.

March 2 – Camille A. Brown Performance: 7:30 p.m. in Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Sponsors for the university’s Black History Month observances include the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, University Lecture Series, Office of the Provost/Multicultural Affairs, Student Activities Association, ESTEEM, Men of Excellence, McLean Institute for Community Development, Black Student Union, the UM chapter of the NAACP, UM Women of Color Network, Department of Student Housing, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, School of Education, UM Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the departments of History, Music, Sociology and Anthropology and African-American Studies.

For a full list of sponsors and Black History Month events, visit