Black History Month 2024:

Black Wellness: Emotionally and Spiritually

Black History Month promotional graphic, with red, yellow, and green brushstrokes

The Albert “Pete” Pero, Jr.  and Cheryl Stewart Pero Center for Intersectionality Studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) is proud to announce the schedule for its 2024 Black History Month Celebration. The Pero Center was established by Scholars and social justice advocates Rev. Dr. Albert Pero, Jr. and Rev. Dr. Cheryl Stewart Pero to highlight the diverse voices within the local and global community.  The theme for this year is Black Wellness: Emotionally and Spiritually.” Today the Black community is in crisis, struggling to endure rampant violence, “Trumpism” and pervasive injustice. By further exploring this theme, the community can highlight issues and begin a discussion on “Black Wellness” and how the Black community can ‘Be Well’ in times of crisis. According to the Pero Center Director, Dr. Linda Thomas, “As the Interim Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at LSTC, I acknowledge the profound importance of Black History Month in our educational and faith journey, for it is a time to unveil the invaluable tapestry of African American contributions, resilience and spiritual wisdom. It is through understanding the rich heritage of Black history that we cultivate empathy, foster social justice and expand our theological perspectives, ultimately empowering our community to embrace the divine unity that transcends all boundaries.”  

Two civil rights activists and Black leaders will join the celebration to explore “Black Wellness.” Social justice advocate, and beloved Black leader, the Rev. Traci Blackmon will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 28that 11:30 a.m., preaching on the topic: “Wellness in the Black Community.” Rev. Blackmon is an Associate General Minister of the United Church of Christ where she led the denomination’s Justice and Local Church Ministries as the Executive Minister of Justice & Witness. 

Civil rights activist and spiritual leader Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, will sign copies of his new book: Dancing in the Darkness: Spiritual Lessons for Thriving in Turbulent Times, on Friday Feb. 23rd, at the Black Book Fair and Book Signing event from 12:00-4:00 p.m.  As senior pastor at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III is one of the country’s most prominent spiritual leaders. His new book provides a framework for exploring the theme of Black Wellness. 

An Opening Worship Service on Wednesday, February 7 at 11:30 a.m.  will mark the beginning of Black History Month. Rev. Dr. Linda Thomas, interim dean and vice president of academic affairs at LSTC, will kick off the monthlong celebration by preaching on “Black Wellness.”

On February 14, Worship Service will begin at 11:30 a.m., with the preached word given by Chicago Metro Synod Bishop, Rev. Yehiel Curry. 

Following the worship on February 14, at 12:30 p.m., a panel discussion will be held on the topic Black Wellness in the Black Community: Emotionally and Spiritually.” Panelists include  famed  LGBTQ rights advocate Dr. Pamela Lightsey,  Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary; Rev. Jocelyn J. Jones-Glover, MSW, President of Faith on the Journey Ministries, and Master Facilitator with the Trauma Healing Institute and Rev. Dr. Kimberly Lymore, Director of the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union and Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

February 21 at 11:30 a.m., the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Rev. Paula E. Clark will preach the word of service in the LSTC Chapel. The Pero Center salutes Bishop Clark as the first African American and the first woman to hold this esteemed position in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The Black Book fair and Book Signing event on Friday February 23  from 12:00-4:00pm is co-sponsored by DABook Joint Bookstore which will provide an array of black books for sale. In addition to Pastor Otis Moss, III, other invited Black authors include: Deborah Douglas, author of “U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places and Events That Made the Movement.” And LSTC MDiv candidate and former President of the African Descent Lutheran Association, Rev. Sharei Green, co-author of “In God’s Holy Darkness.”

This Black History month celebration is sponsored by The Rev. Dr. Albert “Pete” Pero, Jr.  and Rev. Dr. Cheryl Stewart Pero Center for Intersectionality Studies at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, where Dr. Linda E. Thomas is the Director.  All events will be both online and in person at the LSTC campus, 5416. S University, Chicago, IL 60615. For more information regarding Black History month events, please visit the website at www.lstc.edu,  or contact Event Coordinator Marvis Hardy at marvis.hardy@lstc.edu. To register for events, go to: lstc.edu/events.

Back to top