Black History Month

Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

President Gerald Ford

Black History is a collection of stories, movements, and accomplishments that have contributed to our country's progress and evolution. We acknowledge and celebrate the African diaspora and its impact on our lives and pay homage to the trendsetters for their achievements. 

CECH proudly acknowledges influential African American students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners who made history locally or beyond as we celebrate Black History Month.

2023 Black History Month Stories

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Name: Dr. Angelica M. Hardee (she/her)

CECH Affiliation: CECH, School of Human Services Heath Promotion and Education Department Bachelors ’13, Masters '14

How do you celebrate Black History Month? Every day is Black History Month in my life. I celebrate Black History even more in February!  Professionally having discussions and book clubs. I also focus on learning new Black history I may not have known before. So much of our history was stolen from us, so it is crucial to continue discussing and promoting Black people's historical contributions and talents.  Personally, I focus on investing and supporting Black-owned businesses even more in February. My goal is to be a part of my community's economic growth and sustainability.

This year’s theme for BHM is “Black Resistance.” How does that theme show up in your personal/work life?

We have been taught to work hard and continue to grind and strive. I believe Black resistance is seeking joy and rest in our everyday lives. Resistance is saying no and taking the time to do what makes us happy so we can seek joy!

Our campaign is entitled, “Be Historic.” What comes to mind pertaining to that phrase?

Be Historic to me is making your mark in everything that you do, be your best. All of us play an essential role in our community. How are you leaving this world a better place?

What are some personal achievements or activities you are involved in that you would like to share?

I have the pleasure of waking up and strategizing how to improve our community's health daily. Now I am excited to continue my work nationwide by traveling and speaking about achieving health equity. Recently, I was appointed to the Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Board of Directors and am excited to work on supporting and lifting such a critical healthcare organization in our community. 


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Name: Darius Howard (he/him)

CECH Affiliation: CECH, School of IT

How do you celebrate Black History Month? I celebrate Black History Month by focusing not only on the prior struggles and triumphs of African Americans before me but on our future successes. Every February, my business, DHow Designs, LLC, runs a black history month campaign to highlight different African American heroes and their stories, to enlighten and inspire. Each year we go a step further and participate in NAACP #AllYearLong Campaign to celebrate Black History all year to highlight African American accomplishments on an ongoing basis

This year’s theme for BHM is “Black Resistance.” How does that theme show up in your personal/work life?

This year’s theme “Black Resistance” shows up in both my personal and work lives. With the events that brought out the Black Lives Matter campaign, I feel that I am on high alert at all times, not just in dealings with law enforcement but living in general. In my work life I’ve been underestimated because of the color of my skin but it gives me the chip on my shoulder to go above and beyond to prove my worth and counteract both implicit and explicit racism. Racism in all manifestations is ingrained in society and will likely always be an issue in this world. African Americans have established “Black Resistance” for ages and continue to do so. I can only hope my time on this earth and the struggles I’ve witnessed and overcame make it easier for the generations after me.

Our campaign is entitled, “Be Historic.” What comes to mind pertaining to that phrase?

The Phrase “Be Historic” rings to me. Most people fear death, being alone, etc. I have a fear of being forgotten. To “Be Historic”,  is to be someone your ancestors and loved ones would be proud of, striving to be the best human being you can be, being irreplaceable. The essence of being “historic” is  to leave  a legacy long after you are gone, to be someone who is unforgettable, someone who cannot be forgotten, ultimately enduring long after we are gone.

What are some personal achievements or activities you are involved in that you would like to share?

I am a recent recipient of the UC School of IT 2022 Rising Star Award for my commitment to the IT Profession and the university. I also received the young alumni award shortly after I graduated in 2014 another award given to graduates from the IT program, which makes 2 out of the 3 awards an alumni can obtain from the College of CECH School of IT. I also run a digital solutions business, DHow Designs, LLC, specializing in services such as Web Design, web migration, graphic design, photography and starting at the end of this quarter, custom apparel. I started this company back in 2020, taking the knowledge that I’ve gained from working in the IT field, professional sports and the university to turn it into a successful business. 


uc cech, garrett carter headshot photo, be historic

Name: Tai A. Collins, Ph.D., BCBA-D (he/him/his)

CECH Affiliation: Associate Professor and Coordinator, School Psychology Program

How do you celebrate Black History Month? I celebrate Black History Month by continuing to do the work of centering Black students in my research.

This year’s theme for BHM is “Black Resistance.” How does that theme show up in your personal/work life?

Black resistance means advocating for social justice and redressing systems of oppression and marginalization. I center social justice in various areas, including teaching, research, and service to various organizations.

Our campaign is entitled, “Be Historic.” What comes to mind pertaining to that phrase?

It's a reminder that we have a responsibility to represent our ancestors and learn from the past, as well as shape a better future.

What are some personal achievements or activities you are involved in that you would like to share?

I just completed a 2-year Diversity Research Fellowship with the Office of Research. I had the opportunity to conduct a research study on equity in grant submissions at the university. 


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Name: Lauren White (She/her/hers)

CECH Affiliation: CECH Undergraduate Student Success Program Manager

How do you celebrate Black History Month? To me, celebrating Black History Month consist of learning from the past, as well as celebrating the Black history that is being made today and every day. I thrive within community, so I often make time to attend cultural events and Black History Month celebrations. These events allow me the opportunity to celebrate arts and culture as well as learn more about notable Black figures throughout history. Also, I specifically enjoy taking the time out to support local Black-owned businesses in the Cincinnati area. I strive to not limit Black history to the confines of February but continuously work to incorporate Black culture, literature, and knowledge into my day to day work and lifestyle.

This year’s theme for BHM is “Black Resistance.” How does that theme show up in your personal/work life?

Audre Lorde once said, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” When I think about the theme Black Resistance, I specifically look at self care as a radical act of resistance. The world will break you, if you grant it the opportunity, especially as a Black woman. I often times can find myself overwhelmed with the historic and on-going disadvantages of oppression that are ingrained in the fabric of our nation. However, I believe that the first steps in combatting these disadvantages is by building stronger, more equitable, and more connected communities. These communities cannot be built if individuals do not have the capacity to effectively operate. That is why, I actively work to do both pour into my community, develop the leaders of tomorrow and prioritize selfcare.

Our campaign is entitled, “Be Historic.” What comes to mind pertaining to that phrase?

When I hear the phrase, "Be Historic" my mind instantly goes to learning and story telling. As an artist, I have always believed in the power of narrative and sharing different perspective and experiences. I think the beauty of Black History Month, is that it allows the opportunity for different historical impact and perspectives to be shared and highlighted. I think it's important to take advantage of that opportunity, and to not limit learning opportunities to solely February. Also, "Be Historic" makes me think about the powerful Black woman trailblazers that came before me and their impact. Fannie Lou Hammer, Claudette Colvin, Madame C.J. Walker and so many more that weren't afraid to stand up a make a difference for themselves and within their communities. I constantly work to learn from their impact, honor their legacy, and continue to create change within my personal sphere of influence. 

What are some personal achievements or activities you are involved in that you would like to share?

I am the author of Cries from the Dark Side of the Moon a poetry book highlighting Black women's experiences in America.


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Name: Miranda Celeste (She/her)

CECH Affiliation: Graduate/Doctoral student

How do you celebrate Black History Month? For Black History Month this year, I have decided to celebrate it in two specific ways. First, I’ve decided to build a collection of books and articles written by Black authors to not only read but incorporate into courses that I teach in the future. One way to ensure that Black voices are heard and uplifted, is to intentionally hear and uplift them. I recognize the power I hold in teaching courses in my field as a graduate student. I believe that providing students and myself with exposure to names, voices, and ideas within this field that they may not have traditionally heard of, is my way of celebrating this month but also pushing for the continued celebration and recognition of Black voices. Second, I am excited to try as many Black owned restaurants and lounges in the city. I have been to a few, but I would like to spend this month checking off many others and finding more places to recommend and frequent throughout the year and beyond.

This year’s theme for BHM is “Black Resistance.” How does that theme show up in your personal/work life?

Black resistance is powerful. It can also be a daunting task as a young Black woman navigating through predominantly White spaces—especially in academia. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice. Long before beginning my doctoral program in criminal justice, I was aware that the juvenile and criminal legal systems represented just one of the many controversial facets of this country. One of the many controversies of these systems is reflected in the racial inequalities and injustices that have historically and currently run rampant. These injustices and inequalities have contributed to the decline in life satisfaction, broken communities, mistrust in local authorities, and lack of faith within systems ideally designed to promote justice but realistically and historically contradict it at many turns. The manifestation of Black resistance, as a young, Black rising scholar arises as I continue to contribute positively to the criminal and juvenile legal systems through research. Specifically, as I challenge myself and my peers to think critically about the structure of curriculum within our field. It is imperative that I actively engage in discourse and research that seek to dismantle and reshape the way the criminal and juvenile legal systems are imagined for Black individuals within the United States. In choosing to resist the traditions of relying on albeit foundational, but outdated research that fails to acknowledge and contribute to racial equity and justice within our systems.

Our campaign is entitled, “Be Historic.” What comes to mind pertaining to that phrase?

The phrase, “be historic” immediately makes me reflect on the connection between the past, present, and future. Specifically, how many things have changed, and how others, remain the same. In being historic, it is important to be mindful of the many figures who protested, fought, resisted, and gave their lives to promote change for Black Americans. In being historic, I recognize the many freedoms I possess because of the many strides taken long before me and aim to become historic within my own right to promote even greater change for the generations after me. While we have come a long way, there remains several pressing and grave issues still deeply embedded within the systems that make up this country for Black Americans. In saying this, this phrase also begets another thought—diversity within change. In being historic there is not a singular path. I do believe that much of the progress Black Americans have made has also been achieved because of creativity and diversity in thinking. Black Americans are not a monolith. Many of the paths to change were different. To be historic is to reflect on what those before us have accomplished and continue such progress, while also recognizing the uniqueness in what progress looks like. 

What are some personal achievements or activities you are involved in that you would like to share?

At the forefront of my doctoral program in 2020, my primary focus was staying afloat. Starting a PhD during the peak of COVID-19 is not for the faint of heart. However, after getting through my first year online and managing to return to campus, I immediately aimed to strengthen my relationship with my cohort, faculty, and staff. I believe that fostering community and building networks starts from within a department and can be a critical element for success. Consequently, this belief guided many of my agendas throughout my doctoral program. I have been involved with activities that have addressed and strengthened graduate student success within my department after our transition from COVID-19. First, after the George Floyd tragedy in 2020, myself and several other PhD students collaborated to write an anti-racism statement. This statement addressed the stance of graduate students in our department on racial inequalities and police brutality within the criminal legal system. In addition to this, we addressed several steps the department could take to strengthen our dedication to anti-racism and the promotion of diversity through education. Second, I was elected by the PhD student body to serve on the department's Committee Search for the position of Director. As the student representative, I was tasked with advocating on behalf of student wellbeing and success in the search for the best suited candidate. Third, after COVID-19, the department, as well as many others, struggled to rebuild ways for greater connectedness among students as we returned to campus. I have taken up the responsibility of being a student ambassador and liaison for my department. In doing this, I have aimed to bridge the gap between various cohorts to build greater networks for new and current CJ-PhD students. I have sought to revive a program within our department that aids in the professional and academic development of students. Through support from faculty and staff within my department, as well as within the college, progress toward these goals is underway. Aside from these achievements and activities, I have also received several grants toward my research agendas. These grants have allowed me to continue my progress toward my doctoral program and contribute to my field through critical assessments of current criminal justice curriculum standards, racial inequalities within the system, and its implications on overall life satisfaction. Through all of these endeavors, I have also taught multiple courses within my department and received consistently high student evaluation scores.


2022 Black History Month Stories

Every population and group of people are multi-faceted. There is diversity within each diverse group based upon their geographic location, economic upbringing, education, gender, and other factors. It is important to see the heterogeneity of all groups to celebrate their uniqueness and acknowledge what they feel is an important piece of their identity.

This year, we will acknowledge how know group is monolithic or “just” the apparent group they appear to be. There is composition in all of us and no one person is the same as the other. These stories will show the dimensions of our selected candidates.

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Name: Garrett Carter, Ph.D.

CECH Affiliation: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Accomplishments: Garrett Carter is a CECH Alumnus and current assistant principal at Westerville High School in Ohio. He is also an Amazon Author Bestseller of two children's book series and the author of "Common Sense Tips for College Student Success." He has a completed Ph.D. in Education Policy at Indiana University. His goal is to work toward creating equity in educational systems while making an impact on his fellow administrators and students.

Garrett earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from CECH.

Click here to read Garrett's story.

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Name: Cheryl Moses

CECH Affiliation: Bachelor of Science in Education, c'o 76 graduate within the School of Education

Accomplishments: Cheryl Harris Moses is a retired educator with a career of 39 years serving students who are deaf and disabled. She has carried positions as an Educational Diagnostician and a Hospital Homebound teacher. Cheryl is active in her community and is a member of Girl Scouts of America, Inc., Alpha Kapp Alpha, Inc., and currently serves on the CECH Deans Advisory Board. 

Cheryl received her Bachelor of Science in Education when the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) was called the College of Education and Home Economics.

Click here to read Cheryl's story.

Brandi Elliott Be historic photo

Name: Brandi Elliott, Ed.D. (She/ Her)

CECH Affiliation: Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling graduate within the School of Human Services

Accomplishments: Brandi Elliott currently serves as the Executive Director of Identity and Inclusion at UC, where she oversees Ethnic Programs and Services (EPS), The African American Cultural and Resource Center (AACRC), the LGBTQ Center, and the Women’s Center. Her role is to create spaces on campus for all ethnic groups to have a positive student experience.

Brandi received her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from within the School of Human Services.

Click here to read Brandi’s story.  

UC CECH, Kamontá Heidelburg, Be Historic

Name: Kamontá Heidelburg, Ph.D., NCSP

CECH Affiliation: School Psychology, PhD graduate within the School of Human Services

Accomplishments: Kamontá Heidelburg, Ph.D., is the first black male to graduate from the School Psychology, Ph.D. program within the School of Human Services. His work examines the educational systems that support young black males and their efficacy from a school psychologist point of view. Heidelberg is currently an Assistant Professor within the Department of Counseling, School & Educational Psychology at the University of Buffalo. 

Click here to read Kamonta's story.

2021 Black History Month Stories

2020 was an unprecedented year for the history books. Due to the pandemic and the groundswell of racial issues we experienced, we were challenged in our professional careers, faced the residual effects of a mandated quarantine, and served on the frontlines as sickness surrounded us all. Nevertheless, we moved forward, worked harder, fought for racial injustice, and sacrificed our very health to help our communities. Here are the stories of some of the staff, faculty, and students within CECH and their contribution in 2020. 


Name: Marci Mason

CECH Affiliation: Graduate of the School of Education

Accomplishments: Marci Mason is a recent graduate who has earned her Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education within CECH. Marci has established her career working as an educational professional within daycare centers providing emotional and academic support to her students while being a family advocate.

Marci continued to remain available to her students and families at the start of covid by providing exceptional care while essential workers had to report to their jobs.

Click here to read more about Marci's story.


Name: Teneisha Dyer

CECH Affiliation: Director of Student Recruitment and Marketing 

Accomplishments: Teneisha Dyer is one of the few directors on UC's campus who oversees both recruitment and marketing. Teneisha, once was a recruiter herself, has developed an outstanding recruitment team that recruits first-year and freshman, transfer and transition, and graduate students. Recently, Teneisha has acquired the marketing unit and merges recruitment and marketing efforts to create a positive student experience. 

During her tenure with UC, Teneisha has been a part of the Staff Senate and several working groups across campus, improving student admission and recruitment needs. 

Click here to learn more about how Teneisha inspires her team.


Name: Amber Burley Munnerlyn

CECH Affiliation: Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati 

Accomplishments: Amber Burley Munnerlyn has an extensive background working with the Deaf community. Munnerlyn has built her career around Deaf communities by working as a sign language interpreter in K-12 education, for local non-profit organizations like the Hearing Speech and Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati, area hospitals like Children’s and UC Health, for Talbert House, and Social Security Administration.

Munnerlyn is a co-founder of the Cincinnati African American/Black Interpreter Collaborative (CAABIC), who is moving towards creating opportunities for more African-Americans to become nationally certified in ASL interpretation.

Click here to learn more about Amber Burley and her extensive accomplishments.


Name: Keonte Alexander 

CECH Affiliation: Middle Childhood Education | UC '22

Accomplishments: Keonte is a supporter of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. He has taken part in multiple peaceful protests during the summer of 2020 that sought to ratify racial equality for people of color. Keonte participated in the "Anti Racism Workshop" last July, where he led a conversation centered around institutional racism in the educational system and the "Preschool to Prison Pipeline." Alexander was also an intern for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, as he hopes to establish himself as an educator and has plans to make a run for public office in the future.

Alexander spent five years working for the Boys and Girls Club, where he eventually became a Teen Program Leader position. His responsibility was to create programs and activities for 8th-12th graders.

Read more about Keonte Alexander's story. 


Name: Camryn Morrow

CECH Affiliation: Human Development and Community Engagement undergraduate program | UC '22

Accomplishments: Camryn has led the charge in many on-campus student activities and initiatives. After receiving this year's 2021 Student Trail Blazer Award through the Onyx and Ruby Gala, she and her peers within Undergraduate Student Government, has created a 10 step call to action that addresses issues circling the lack of racial inclusivity for students of color on campus. 

Camryn is also a Darwin T. Turner scholar, a member of the Undergraduate Student Government, recipient of CECH's 2020 Outstanding Student Award, and the founder of "Sister Outsiders", a book club for women of color. 

Read more about Camryn Morrow's accomplishments on campus.

2020 Black History Month Stories

In 2020, we highlighted our alumni and their accomplishments upon graduating with a degree from CECH. Review their stories and learn what they are doing in the community as of today.

Reginald Wilkinson

Name: Dr. Reginald Wilkinson

CECH Association: Graduate of the School of Education | Received a Doctorate in Educational Studies

About: Dr. Reginald Wilkinson, began as the Director at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections for the State of Ohio. He has worked with policy makers, government officials, politicians, community leaders, and educators to push forward the agenda of providing education to inmates.

Quote: “It’s important for me, at least, to ‘not forget from whence I come’ and so when I have the opportunity to pay it forward, stay involved, and counsel persons who can benefit from my years of experience, then that’s what I’m going to do. I do think many others can be helpful by committing to something similar.” Read his full story.

Jacqueline Bailey Davis

Name: Dr. Jacqueline Bailey-Davis

CECH Association: Graduate of the School of Criminal Justice | Received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

About: Dr. Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, CECH Class of 1992, is a Staff Inspector at the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD). Among her many accolades, she was recently in the running to become the first African-American female commissioner of the PPD. After completing her first Criminal Justice course as an undergraduate student she fell in love with the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program and decided that, “U.C. has pretty much been the other half of my home.”

Quote: “I understand my role as an African-American woman in law enforcement and the importance of being honest to the communities I serve. I don’t need any specific title for that work or responsibility. As a human being, I care about justice and the protection of everyone, on both sides. As long as I am placed in positions of influence, I will never stop bridging that gap.” Read her full story

Reginald Wilkinson

Name: Ricky Plesant

CECH Association: Upward Bound

About: Ricky Plesant was a student of the Upward Bound program, which is embedded within CECH. Plesant, who is now the Executive Assistant to the General Manager of the American Black Film Festival, had a great experience in the Upward Bound program and has led to the success and growth of the man Ricky Pleasant is today.

Quote: “A lot of the success I had professionally, would not have happened without the structure, the social, and confidence building lessons that I was able to learn throughout the Upward Bound program. The program should be viewed as a treasure. A historical one because it has been at U.C. for over 50 years. Hopefully, people will realize how important it is and fight to make sure the funding is still available.” Read his full story.

Mary Weinberg

Name: Mary Wineberg

CECH Association: Graduate of the School of Education | Received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

About: Mary Wineberg, CECH Class of 2002, is most known for her Olympic gold win in the 2008 Bejing Olyimpics, running the first leg of a 4 X 400 relay race. She is just one of four other UC Olympic Gold medalist, and the first African American woman from UC to do so. She keeps good company with the likes of Oscar Robertson who was a member of the 1960 Olympic basketball team and led the Bearcats to the Final Four twice.

Quote: “I love that I can put on different hats. I’m not just an Olympian. I’m an author, I’m a friend, and a sorority sister. I’m also a wife, I’m a mother and I’m a teacher. I can be different things to different people." Read her full story.