February 10, 2022

Virginia Beach History Museums Partners with Norfolk State University for Year-Round African American History Series

​As part of an effort to continue the celebration of Black history year-round, the Virginia Beach History Museums, Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Alumni and Friends Association (PACTS/UKHS) and Norfolk State University (NSU) are excited to announce an expanded year-long partnership, "The African-American History Panels." This free, quarterly virtual panel series kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 24.

The 2022 panels, moderated by Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, dean of the NSU College of Liberal Arts, will cover a broad base of discussion points pertaining to the 2022 National Black History Month theme, "Black Health & Wellness." Discussions will range from an overview of the national topic to how the theme impacts communities, families, education and other sectors. Each panel will feature various panelists to discuss different topics.

The first panel, "Black Health & Wellness: The Urgency of Now," will stream via Zoom from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. It will be an open discussion format and will allow for public questions, or contributions, with assistance from the moderator. Visit NSU's event website for more details and to register for the event.

The series will continue throughout the year online on each of the dates below from noon to 1:30 p.m.:

  • Thursday, June 16, 2022 – Black Health & Wellness: Looking Back to Find the Path Forward
  • Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 – Black Health & Wellness: Community & Public Wellness
  • Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 – Black Health & Wellness: Unwrapping Myth & Suspicion

Future discussion descriptions and registration information will be announced closer to each event date. If you have any questions about the panel discussion, please email Hillary Plate, Cultural Programming and Grants Coordinator for the Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department, at hplate@vbgov.com.

In 2021, the partners joined forces to pilot a single virtual panel discussion built around the year's National Black History Month Theme – "The Black Family, Representation, Identity, and Diversity." The program entitled, "Lift Me On Up: The Power and Influence of Black Family," featured panelists, including educators and community leaders, discussing a wide range of themes impacting African American families.

"This partnership expansion emphasizes that inclusion, equity and sharing diverse viewpoints are essential to bringing our entire community together. We are honored to partner with such distinguished community members and academic leaders to expand this forum for ongoing discussions across the calendar", said Emily Labows, director of the Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department. "Through these virtual panel discussions, we look forward to bringing together a diverse array of community leaders, historians and advocates to share and explore important stories and perspectives via a platform that allows for both local and national participation."


The Cultural Affairs Department engages residents and visitors through meaningful arts, heritage, and cultural experiences to connect and strengthen communities. The Department assists and directs the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission, coordinates the City's Public Art Program, oversees Virginia Beach History Museums, provides contract management for the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, serves as the liaison with Virginia MOCA and the ViBe Creative District, and serves as a resource to local arts and humanities organizations.


Norfolk State University (NSU) is a comprehensive urban public university committed to offering rigorous academic programs, and a supportive culturally diverse learning environment. As one of the most affordable four-year public institutions of higher education in Virginia, NSU provides opportunity and access to a globally competitive education, preparing students to compete in the 21st century workforce. Our nationally, and internationally, recognized faculty utilize a student-centered teaching philosophy that correlates to student success in unique areas of study such as Cybersecurity, CyberPsychology, Entrepreneurship and a nationally acclaimed Theatre/Drama program.

Keep Reading

See All Posts