Celebrating Black History Month

February 1, 2023
Flag of Black Liberation

Dear members of the NJCU family: 

Black History Month is an important time to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of a community that throughout our history has moved to awaken and stir the conscience of our nation. At NJCU, we don’t and can’t limit this to one month. We celebrate and honor Black history every day. As one of the oldest minority-serving institutions, we know firsthand that we are better and stronger because of the achievements made by a people who in James Baldwin’s immortal words remind us that “if you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.”

At NJCU, we talk a lot about providing access to an education that transforms people’s lives. When we say that, what we really mean is equal access. We can’t eliminate the weight of history. But we do temper the historic inequities and social injustices that have kept our community from pursuing a quality education and economic mobility due to things like the color of their skin, what neighborhood they were raised in, how much money their parents make, or how their family’s journey began. At NJCU, we honor, and we will fiercely affirm the inherent dignity and worth of every person and believe all people have a right to pursue a better life for themselves and their families. 

The NJCU community is one of the most diverse in the country. It is something we take pride in and celebrate. I am here to remind everyone, from our first-year students all the way up to statewide stakeholders, that we matter. Having an equitable and inclusive community is critical to the success of our local communities and our state. These ideas are important to talk about during Black History Month—and every single day.  

Your voices matter, your stories matter.  Use them, tell them.  Together, we will always celebrate them and honor them. 

Please join me in reflecting throughout this month and throughout the year in manifesting the promise of Frederick Douglass' prophetic words when he observed that “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  Black history is our history. Black history is American history and history is made on this campus and in our community every day.

In solidarity, 

Andrés Acebo 
Interim President 
New Jersey City University