While Black History Month continues to be celebrated in the Owensboro community, Owensboro Black Expo continues to focus on its educational mission.
Tiffany Davis, the treasurer of OBE, said on Tuesday that while the nonprofit, founded in 1973, would not hold any Black History Month events in February, she was celebrating the month in the words of black poets.
“The only thing we’re doing this month is a poetry contest,” she said. “We do it every year.”
All students between the ages of 6 and 18 living in Davis County are eligible to participate in the Owensboro Black Expo Poetry Competition, which requires a student to read a poem by a black poet and then post it on their personal Facebook page tagged “Owensboro Black Expo ».
“They can be creative with it and publish videos,” Davis said, “and the one who gets the most likes and shares will get a reward.”
OBE also continues its focus on the Academic Career Exploration (ACE) program in partnership with Owensboro Community and Technical College.
“We’re dedicated to that now,” Davis said.
Back in its first year, the ACE program includes about 25 Owensbora High School students who visit the OCTC campus approximately once a month.
Davis said the significant goal of the program is to educate black students from the Owensboro area about the options available to them for college education. Students are taught about financial aid and informed about the options available to them that do not require taking on a significant amount of student loan debt.
Sharmy Davis, OCTC’s director of cultural diversity, said Tuesday that the program includes problem solving, team building and time management.
Davis said local artist KO Lewis would create some of his work and talk to students on Friday.
“He will talk about his work and what it means to him,” she said. “They’re centered around a month of black history.”
Davis said she feels that some groups of students are not as well educated as others when it comes to college information.
“We ask some students, ‘What have you ever heard of going to college?’ – and they mention money or that they are not worth their time and effort, ”Davis said. “They don’t realize you can come to the OCTC, finish two years and save a lot of money and get financial aid or grants or scholarships and then transfer to get a bachelor’s degree.
“There are a lot of options that students just don’t know about because they listen to other people who also don’t know.”
Davis said that black culture and history is something that is not so widely known, and it is important for Owensbury to embrace diversity.
“I think Owensboro has shown that celebrating Black History Month is a step in the right direction, especially for people who want to move here or need to move here for work,” she said. “There are a lot of troubles today, and we just have to remember those who have sacrificed so much so that we can be where we are now.”