Office of the President

Celebrating Black History Month

Feb. 1, 2022

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” 

—Ida B. Wells

The famed journalist, educator and activist Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She would go on to dedicate her life to combating prejudice and violence en route to becoming a Civil Rights icon and champion for equality. Her life’s work is testament to the fact that injustice thrives in the darkness of ignorance. A seeker and teller of truth, Ms. Wells proved the efficacy of her ambitions with the power of her words by shining the “light of truth” on the reality of life for Black Americans.

This legacy of shining light represents the foundation of Black History Month. When we celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans to our nation and the world, we ensure that these stories — essential to fighting misrepresentations and inequality — remain clear, strong and well-lit both today and for generations to come.

As president of the nation’s most diverse polytechnic university, it is my pleasure to celebrate Black History Month with our campus community — students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. I invite each of you to participate in the series of events and programs taking place at Cal Poly Pomona along with the activities in the communities where you live.

The duty to safeguard the histories of all those who have come before us falls to each of us, particularly for those histories that have been ignored, lost or stolen. By protecting and celebrating our individual and collective histories, we are better equipped to build a future more strongly centered on inclusion, justice and equity for all.