National African American (Black) History Month begins Monday, February 1, and ends Monday, March 1. Although the celebration originated in the US, the event has received official recognition from governments in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is an important part of our plan for success in VTPP and we continue to strive for increased DEI in all aspects of our department. The website provides an interesting perspective of the basis for the location of Texas A&M University. The site identifies the identity of the original land owners in Texas. It turns out our University (and local community) resides on the historic lands of the of the Sana and Tonkawa people. The Tonkawa signed a treaty with Stephen F. Austin (1859) that was apparently ignored for a decade or more. The indigenous people were “moved” to Oklahoma along with other plains tribes and the region was reported as “cleared” for about three years before the Morrill Act created Texas A&M as a land-grant University (1862).

January 26 (Also Australia Day and Indigenous People’s DAY) was this year the date of the first CVMBS Coffee, culture and conversation event that featured art, music, and the spoken word from faculty and students in CVMBS. Many in attendance included Dr Jon Hunter (also presenting some incredible wildlife photography as well as poetry from 1VM student (and VTPP427 TA) Kadden Kothmann, with Dr. Suva as the emcee. The event organized by the C-IDEA committee was held in VENI Third-Floor Commons. It was a great start to what will hopefully become a regular event, showcasing the diverse talents of the CVMBS.