The city of Santa Monica will raise awareness of the health and wellbeing of black people during Black History Month 2022

January 13, 2022 5:12 PM

This 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 educational to therapeutic. Most of the events will be virtual and 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, city equity and communications coordinator and founder and director of The Committee for the City’s Black History Month. “We are extremely grateful to the speakers, artists, and community partners we work with for offering programs that we firmly believe people will have to deal with the realities in which they live.”

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

Opening ceremony, Thursday, February 3, 10:30 a.m. (virtual): Local health experts discuss the importance of physical and mental health. There are also special performances by the female tap dance group Syncopated Ladies, a hula hoop competition and a healthy cooking demonstration.

Reception and Art Walk, Saturday, February 19, 2 p.m .: The City and Building Bridges Art Exchange are hosting a joint reception at Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit F2, to work with local schools to highlight student artwork and exhibitions with black historical figures from the health and wellness sector in collaboration with the Quinn Research Center. The reception includes refreshments followed by a self-guided tour of galleries showing exhibits on black history.

Celebrating the Black Excellence Awards, Thursday, February 24th, 6:30 p.m. (virtual): The city will honor black professionals who are exemplary for outstanding leadership and service. The event will also feature South African dance performances with celebrity choreographers and dancers Lindiwe Rose and Jamal Josef. 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 submissions is February 2, 2022.

For the full list of Black History Month events in Santa Monica, visit

Black History Month is an initiative of the city’s Black History Month Committee. The Black History Month committee is made up of city officials who work with black community leaders to make the events a success.


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Black History Month 2022

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