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A Message from the Dean: Celebrating Black History Month

Dear Poole College Community,

Reflecting on what to share for Black History Month, I saw the opportunity to make connections between what we witnessed this past year and what we look to uplift and highlight in February as we celebrate amazing heroes this month. February comes on the heels of a year where Black men and women helped shape a better tomorrow, not just for our nation but for the world.  

This past year we said goodbye to the legendary civil rights leader John Lewis, whose legacy of getting into “good trouble” to oppose systemic racism will continue for years to come. We witnessed the bravery and heroic efforts of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams change the course of political history. We saw another glass ceiling being shattered with the election of Vice-President Kamala Harris. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tirelessly helped us to grasp the weightiness of the COVID-19 pandemic. And finally we were introduced to a bright new star and national youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman. These bright stars should inspire us all to “be brave enough to see it, …brave enough to be it”.

Our own NC State African American Cultural Center has many great activities to celebrate the work of Black men and women. Take time to review the entire calendar of events and engage as you can. I hope these activities inspire all of us to follow their lead to uplift Black men and women making history here in our community and around the world.

In the coming weeks, there are several other opportunities that are available to listen, learn, and grow. Below are just a few additional ways to engage at the individual, college, and university levels. 

  • Read to learn and increase understanding. We are continuing the supported reading groups this spring semester. While there are two books to pick from, the next book for those interested in disrupting bias and microaggressions is Race Talk written by professor Derald Sue. The college will be organizing regular discussion groups and purchasing copies for participants. Learn more about both books and sign up for the supported reading group here.
  • Stop by the annual mural on the third floor of Nelson Hall. This exhibition was curated by Andretti Brown, a Raleigh multidisciplinary creative designer and graphic artist. Visit his website and follow @PooleDiversity on Instagram to watch an interview with Andretti on how his creative process works when creating his designs.
  • Join one of the numerous events hosted on our campus during the month. 
  • Support local Black owned businesses such as Indulge personal chefs and Zweili’s Kitchen.
  • Get more familiar with the full body of work of Amanda Gorman, America’s National Youth Poet Laureate. Purchase her books on her website:

Finally, if you have not had an opportunity to read the statement provided by our Chancellor and university leadership.

Never has there been a time where the strength of the Pack is more important. I appreciate all of the work each of you do every day to make Poole feel special and welcoming. As a college, we will continue to stay committed to building and nurturing an environment that we are all truly proud to say we belong. 

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. 


Frank Buckless, Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean of the Poole College of Management