City of Santa Monica to Shine a Light on Black Health and Wellness During Black History Month 2022

January 13, 2022 5:12 p.m.

In February, the city of Santa Monica will honor Black History Month with the theme of black health and wellness. This year’s events range from education to therapeutics. Most of the events will be virtual and will include an opening ceremony on February 3, 2022, a black history-themed reception and art walk on February 19, and the Black Excellence Awards on February 24.

“February is an incredibly special time for the Santa Monica community to come together to celebrate blackness and discuss solutions to pressing issues affecting the black community,” said Delana G. Gbenekama, equity and communications coordinator for the city and founder and leader of the City’s Black History Month Committee. “We are extremely grateful to the speakers, artists and community partners with whom we collaborate to deliver programming that we strongly believe people need to deal with the realities they live in.

Elementary, middle, and high school students are invited to submit artwork by January 25, 2022, for display at Santa Monica City Hall and the Building Bridges Art Exchange at Bergamot Station Arts Center. The City is accepting nominations for the Black Excellence Awards with a deadline of February 2, 2022. Events include:

Opening Ceremony, Thursday, February 3, 10:30 a.m. (virtual): Local health professionals will discuss the importance of physical and mental health. There will also be special performances by the all-girl tap dance group Syncopated Ladies, a hula hoop contest and a healthy cooking demonstration.

Reception and Art Walk, Saturday, February 19, 2 p.m.: The city and Building Bridges Art Exchange are partnering to host a reception at Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit F2, to showcase student artwork in collaboration with local schools and exhibits featuring black historical figures in health and wellness in partnership with the Quinn Research Center. The reception will include refreshments followed by a self-guided tour of the galleries featuring Black History-themed exhibits.

Celebrating Black Excellence Awards, Thursday, February 24, 6:30 p.m. (virtual): The City will honor Black professionals who exemplify exceptional leadership and service. The event will also feature South African dance performances featuring celebrity choreographers and dancers Lindiwe Rose and Jamal Josef. The Black History Month committee invites the public to submit nominations for black professionals who live or work in Santa Monica to be honored at the event. The deadline for submission is February 2, 2022.

See the full list of Black History Month events in Santa Monica at

Black History Month is an effort of the City’s Black History Month Committee. The Black History Month Committee is made up of City employees who work in coordination with Black community leaders to make these events a success.


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Black History Month 2022