Ja’Nay Settles, Secretary of Cultural Diversity for Student Senate, worked with Lubbock Christian University’s (LCU) leadership to coordinate events celebrating black history throughout the month of February.
February has been a focal point for over a century for celebrating and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. What began first as a weeklong event was extended to the entire month of February, first recognized officially by US President Gerald Ford, and today has spread to other nations including Canada and Great Britain.
Settles, a junior pre-vet major, serves the LCU student body as the Secretary of Cultural Diversity, a role which placed her in the perfect position to help the University highlight black individuals in the LCU and surrounding community.
“Prior to the beginning of Black History Month, I met with members of the student body and faculty to gain insight into what they would wish to see on campus throughout the month,” she explained. “Student Senate and the Office of Student Life coordinated to make these events a reality.”
Throughout the month of February, LCU hosted the various events and initiatives that Settles organized. One evening, Student Senate hosted a movie event where participants watched “The Best of Enemies,” a movie that tells the “true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan Leader.”
Another unique opportunity was provided by Lubbock’s own Caviel Museum of African American History, which brought exhibits dedicated to celebrating art, culture, and identity with artwork from Africa and antiques donated by community members. The museum is named after the former owners of their building—Alfred and Billie Caviel, who were the first African American couple to own and operate their own pharmacy in the United States.
Settles shared, “We have had guest speakers join us during chapel to share their story and what black history means to them, hosted small group talks focusing on race, and concluded with a community-wide celebration with our ‘Keep It Moving Block Party’ with food trucks, games, and free t-shirts on March 1.”
She added, “I would like to say thank you to those who assisted and participated throughout these events and extend a special thanks to the board of directors from the Caviel Museum of African History for taking time to showcase such an important part of Lubbock’s Culture.”
For Settles, celebrating diversity isn’t just a numbers game or about being “correct”—it’s a core piece of her faith, and something she believes lies at the center of what LCU stands for as a Christian institution.
“Although we come from different countries, heritages, and backgrounds, we are all family in Christ,” she said. “As Secretary of Cultural Diversity and as a Christian, my hope is for a world where we are unified and not divided, where we see the person next to us as a family member. Because of that, I believe these initiatives and ones like it are so important because they not only celebrate race—they help us celebrate our family.”