Celebrating Caribbean-American Heritage Month

It is estimated that the current population of people from the Caribbean in the United States is over 4 million. Since the founding of our Nation, our strength lies in our remarkable diversity. Caribbean Americans have contributed in immeasurable ways and strengthen our country through languages, culture, principles, and values. In recognition of our contributions, we are recognized in the month of June with National Caribbean-American Heritage Month supported by the House of Representatives. With appropriate ceremonies, celebrations and activities, people are encouraged to celebrate and observe Caribbean American Heritage Month. Caribbean Americans have contributed to every field, including science, technology, teaching, etc. to leave a long-lasting influence in our society. Our efforts, hard work and contributions are part of our Nation’s history.   

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Celebrating Pride Month with FSU Libraries

This Pride Month, we’d like to honor the contribution the LGBTQ+ community has made to literature and to FSU Libraries. We had the opportunity to interview Haley McGuyre, a Graduate Assistant with Special Collections, and discuss their experience working on the LGBTQ+ Oral Histories Project at FSU Libraries. The full interview can be found below.

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Juneteenth Community Events & Resources

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Texas to enforce the emancipation proclamation. This day, Juneteenth, celebrates the liberation of the last enslaved people in Texas. In 2021, the United States declared June 19 a federal holiday. There will be events in Tallahassee to celebrate Juneteenth, and there are many resources for you to learn more about the significance of this holiday.

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Reflections on “Tikkun Olam”

By Priscilla Hunt

First proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2006, May is known for its commemoration of Jewish American Heritage. Since then, presidents have issued a proclamation each year commemorating the month. Read Joe Biden’s 2022 Proclamation here.

As we commemorate this month, I often reflect on my first experiences with Jewish culture and traditions through my education at Florida State University. While pursuing a minor in Religion, I was lucky enough to take a course titled “Jewish Tradition” which provided me an introduction to the history and culture of Judaism. Dr. Kavka soon became one of my favorite professors that semester and while I loved everything I learned, “Tikkun Olam” is one concept that I appreciated the most and has stuck with me through the years.

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Diverse Voices in STEM: Year Recap

By Emily McClellan

FSU Libraries have officially wrapped up our first year with the Diverse Voices in STEM Speaker Series. In the summer of 2021, Denise Wetzel, STEM Research & Learning Librarian at FSU Libraries, as well as others around the libraries, wanted to start a speaker series aimed at showing undergraduate students the variety of journeys researchers take to get where they are today, while highlighting their current work. All of this was planned and done in hopes that those from historically underrepresented groups would see someone and hear a story of someone like themselves, and be encouraged to continue on in their STEM journey.

After accepting an amazing offer, Denise departed from the Libraries, and Kelly Grove, STEM Research & Learning Librarian and Emily McClellan, Student Engagement Specialist took over the project. The speaker series ran from September 2021 – April 2022, and included five speakers, a website, and blog posts interviewing FSU STEM alumni. We were able to connect with over 160 attendees across these five events. We want to give a special thanks to our STEM Libraries Team and our Marketing Partners who helped make these events possible.

We’re so grateful to our speakers for sharing their stories and research with the community. Catch up on the Diverse Voices in STEM Speaker Series with the videos below! 

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Women’s History Month: Supporting Local Non-Profits

by Kaylan Williams

It’s March, which means it’s Women’s History Month! This month is all about celebrating, highlighting, and commemorating women’s contributions to society and American History. During this time, it’s important to recognize all the ways that you can contribute. Here in Tallahassee, there are a number of fantastic ways to get involved. There are countless non-profits and businesses that you can support, not just this month, but all the time! 

Junior League of Tallahassee

The Junior League of Tallahassee is a local nonprofit organization of women dedicated to improving the lives of and providing basic needs for local children and families, through “sustainable programs and strategic community partnership.” Racking in almost 14,000 hours of service over 61 total years, The Junior League of Tallahassee promotes confidence, develops leadership, and empowers young children and families.  Each Year, JLT trains new members as volunteers and leaders in our community.  But that’s not all, The JLT also has a Community Partner program, whose goal is to further their mission by funding a partnering non-profit, and assist them in launching or growing a project through JLT’s volunteer power, promotional power, and financial grant support capabilities. You can donate to JLT here, and find their website here.

Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center Inc.

Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center Inc is personally my favorite Tallahassee non-profit. As soon as you enter the website, you are welcomed with a plethora of very valuable information about sex trafficking right here in Leon County, the risks, and how to prevent it. They have tons of opportunities for training and education on how to recognize, report, and prevent human trafficking, which is so necessary. However, the feature that I admire most is that at the top of the opening website page, there’s a yellow button that says “Quick Exit” that takes you to theweatherchannel.com, in case someone seeks help on their page needs a quick way to change to screen. It’s simple things like that that could keep someone safe. It’s skills like this that make all the difference in the world. You can find more information about them here.

The Oasis Center for Women and Girls

The Oasis Center was created to be a community resource center for women and girls to come together, dream, achieve, and thrive. In 2007, the founder Kelly Otte noticed that there was no one organization focused on empowering and uniting women from all walks of life in our community. The Oasis Center was created with the vision of being a diverse environment that aims to be the central resource where women can become equipped with the tools to reach their goals, and a support system to celebrate with them as they progress on their journey. You can read more about the Oasis Center here.

Girls on the Run of the Big Bend

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.”  GOTR Panhandle was founded in 2013,  and by the end of spring 2021, they have served over 3,200 girls at over 50 sites in 17 seasons offering scholarships to girls at Title I schools in Leon, Bay, and Jefferson Counties!  This organization does a fantastic job at inspiring young girls to be active in fun and creative ways, while also promoting confidence, happiness, and other necessarily and valuable life skills. You can find more informations about GOTR here, on their website.

These are just a few non-profits that I personally love, but the list is never ending! There’s are so many wonderful ways to get involved in our community, not just for this month, but all the time! Happy Women’s History Month!

Celebrating Black History Month in Libraries and Government Information

by Priscilla Hunt

The Government Information unit at FSU libraries provides free public access to government information and publications for the State of Florida; United Nations; and the United States federal government publications. This includes highlighting important news and events that influence public policy at these three governmental bodies. February is nationally recognized as Black History Month.

Black History Month recognizes African Americans for their achievements and contributions to society. As FSU Libraries celebrate these individuals, the Government Information unit will like to highlight how African Americans have enhanced libraries and government entities.

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This Black History Month: Celebrating Black Voices in Fiction

Black history in the United States cannot be given due attention in a meager blog post. From the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, to Reconstruction, to the Civil Rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s easy to get entrenched in stories of Black pain and trauma. But amidst that there is also: excellence, joy, and success. It’s important to remember that Black history is not a thing of the past; history is being made every day.

Although there’s a plethora of seminal nonfiction texts written on Black history and the Black diaspora in America – you can check out How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi or A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross, among others, for more critical reading – for the purposes of this post, we’ve focused on some wonderful voices in fiction*. We’ve selected a short list of classics and contemporary works from our Popular Literature collection, ranging from literary fiction to romance to science fiction. A permalink for each book is included below, which will take you to our catalog – there, you can search for more books by Black authors.

If you have suggestions for books you cannot find in our collection, please let us know by emailing lib-poplit@fsu.edu.

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Memorial Day: Forgotten History and Modern Monuments

Memorial Day has a long history in the United States, longer even than many people know. In 2001, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, a book written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Blight, brought to light the long ignored influence the Black community had on the origins of this holiday and a 2020 article by Time continued to highlight this section of history. This article and Blight’s book place the beginnings of Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina in May of 1865. During the Civil War, over 250 Union prisoners died in captivity during the last year of the war, and all of them were buried in unmarked graves. After the conflict, Black residents of Charleston decided to give these war heroes a proper burial.