This year's theme, "Black Health and Wellness," looks at how American healthcare has often underserved the African-American community and the legacy of Black contributors, scholars, and medical practitioners in Western medicine. As the COVID-19 pandemic has recently shown, a wide disparity of access to quality healthcare negatively impacted outcomes for Blacks and other minorities. For African-Americans, the root of the problem goes deep and back centuries.

February 26, 2022 • Two-part Event

18th Annual Black History Month Gala

Part One

In keeping with the theme of "Black Health and Wellness," during part one, beginning at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Indiana Department of Health is hosting a free pop-up adult and pediatric COVID-19 clinic offering Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, boosters, and PCR and rapid tests at Woolery Mill (2250 West Sunstone Drive). From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Woolery Mill location, IU Health will offer free diabetes screening, blood pressure checks (HgA1c blood test), Safe Sleep Education, and a CPR hands-on demonstration. These resources are open to the public whether or not they hold a ticket to the Black History Month Gala.

Ticket holders may pick up their gala meal and Black Heath and Wellness gift boxes between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. This year's gift boxes contain Black-owned business products and community partners' promotional items. These items and more will be available at One World at Woolery Mill (2250 West Sunstone Drive).

Part Two

The 2022 Black History Month Gala will begin at 6 p.m. and be hosted by Darren Mosley. This year's event will include a ceremony to recognize the 2022 Black History Month Living Legend and salute the four young residents being recognized as the 2022 Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow by the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males. Bids for the silent auction may be placed starting at 6 p.m. until the end of the Gala program. Proceeds from the Black History Month Gala Silent Auction will support future programs to educate the community about the contributions of African Americans.

The deadline to purchase gala tickets is February 25. Ticket holders will receive a virtual gala link to attend.

The City of Bloomington commemorates National Black History Month with a tribute and celebration Tuesday February 1st at 6PM at FAR Center for Contemporary Arts.

The theme of this year's Black History Month celebration is Black Health and Wellness. Events for the month will examine how the African-American community has often been underserved by healthcare systems. As COVID-19 pandemic has recently shown, a wide disparity of access to quality healthcare negatively impacted outcomes for Black and other people of color.

Tuesday, February 1st • 6:00 pm • Free • FAR Center

Keyandra Whiteside, MPH

Host & Moderator

Additionally, we will celebrate the legacy of Black contributors, scholars and practitioners in Western medicine. This community celebration will feature a health and wellness panel.

  • Reception: 6:00 pm • Free

  • Program: 6:30 pm • Free

*The FAR Center requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. Masks are required.

Tashera E. Perry, MD

Internal Health

Michael Whiteside II, LCSW

Mental Health

Rev. Notoshia D. Howard, M.Div.

Spiritual Health

Kenneth Wilson

Physical Health

Kickoff Health and Wellness Panel

Bloomington Black Strategic Alliance and Black Democratic Caucus hosts its fifth annual State of the Black Community Address Tuesday, February 15 via Zoom, beginning at 5:30 p.m. This year’s address ​will feature the impact of historical and structural discrimination, reparations, housing policy, and education’s effect on the Black community. Featured panelists are Valerie Grim, Kim Morris-Newsome, Kevin Jenkins, and Ashley Pirani.

Deadline: February 6, 2022 • 4th-12th Grade ONLY

The City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee is seeking submissions from area students for the 2022 Black History Month Essay Contest.

First place essay winners will receive an iPad, second place winners will receive a $100 cash award, and third place winners will receive a $75 cash award.

2022 Black History Month Awards

Acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating the accomplishments of African-Americans who have devoted their time, talents, and resources to make a difference in the Bloomington community and beyond.

Visionary Leader Award

The Black History Month Visionary Leadership Award is presented to a person or persons who inspire others through their long-term vision for the betterment of the community. Visionary leaders are innovative, persistent, willing to take risks, enthusiastic, focused and willing to listen to others. Visionary leaders are not afraid to get their hands dirty but but bring others on board through their goal setting and communication.

Past recipients:

  • 2022: Jaquita Joy Roberts.

  • 2021: Jim Sims

  • 2020: Donald and Nicole Griffin

  • 2019: Jennifer Crossley

Living Legend Award

Dr. Portia K. Maultsby, 2022 Living Legend

Portia K. Maultsby devoted herself to Indiana University for 42 years in an array of capacities. A quintessential renaissance faculty member with endless energy for exploring the new and unknown, she’s left an indelible mark on the institution. From ensemble director to department chair, academic author, forensic ethnomusicologist, and archive founder and director, she has focused her energy on the performance, research, preservation, and education of African American music and culture.

Her academic journey began in Florida, where she lived as a child and teenager. Her mother made sure that she started every day with her piano practice before she went off to school. That practice bore fruit when she moved, for her B.A. studies in piano performance, to Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas. She obtained her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, specializing in African and African American music, at the University of Wisconsin.

Even before she had completed her doctorate, Dr. Herman Hudson recruited her to Indiana University to found and lead the IU Soul Revue, the first performing ensemble in African American music for which students received academic credit.

One of the recordings she produced with the ensemble, “Music is Just a Party,” was selected by Billboard in 1977 as the top single pick in its First Time Around category. On that recording she showed her talents as a performer, composer, director, and artist in African American music.

Maultsby has excelled as an author and editor. Her landmark book, co-edited with Mellonee Burnim, African American Music: An Introduction, is the staple source that the world consults on African American music. The second revised and expanded edition is soon to be published. She has also co-edited the African American section of The United States and Canada (Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 3).

She has written articles on funk, rhythm and blues, gospel, the evolution of African American music, ethnicity and African American popular music, African influences and retentions, black spirituals, and the African American popular music industry. Her most recent work ventured into ethnographic research of gospel choirs in the Netherlands.

Maultsby contributes scholarship in multiple media. She has worked prodigiously in film, most significantly serving as the music research and consulting scholar for the award-winning PBS series Eyes on the Prize (1989-90). Beyond that, she has also consulted on The Motown Sound, Wade in the Water, and Chicago’s Record Row: The Cradle of Rhythm and Blues. She is frequently called upon for building music installations at major museums around the United States. And legal experts have called on her forensic ethnomusicology talents for expert testimony in music plagiarism cases.

Maultsby distinguished herself as an administrator, serving as chair of two different departments. She chaired what is now the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies from 1985 to 1991. During that time, the department was ranked first in the arts and humanities among similar programs by the Ford Foundation, and that distinction led to a major grant for IU. She also directed the Ethnomusicology Institute (2004-09) and chaired the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology (2006-09).

Maultsby pioneered the use of technology in the classroom, leading to the building of instructional websites on the history of black music and hip hop. One of her courses focused on music in museums, and she has helped train students for work in public sector museums.

As part of her research, teaching, and administration, Maultsby founded and directed the Archives of African American Music and Culture. The AAAMC is a repository of multiple media from the post-World War II period. The collections highlight popular, religious, and classical music. The archive attracts scholars from around the world.

Maultsby was a strong community citizen. As a member of Bethel AME Church, she served as the church organist beginning in the early 1980s. She’s hosted gatherings of the women’s basketball team, minority faculty, new faculty, and eclectic scholars and community members over the years.

Portia Maultsby retired from IU in 2013 after a distinguished career of research, teaching, and service that has benefitted Indiana University, the Bloomington community and a host of students who are now professionals in ethnomusicology and African American music.

Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow

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The Commission on the Status of Black Males (CSBM) Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow Award is given annually to two African American men and women, respectively from the following categories: high school and adult. The Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow Award is presented each year at the Black History Month Gala Celebration in February. The CSBM recognizes the importance of highlighting the outstanding contributions made by young African American men and women in our community for their outstanding leadership, scholarship, and involvement.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate someone for this award. The 2022 deadline for nominations is Sunday, February 6, 2022.

The Camisha R. Sims Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund

Contributions to the Camisha R. Sims Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund can be made online at or by check to the Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County, 100 South College Avenue, Suite 240, Bloomington, IN 47404. Checks should be made out to the Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County. Please indicate "The Camisha R. Sims Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund" on the memo line of your check.