Monica Niá Jones, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration in business and special events management, is celebrating her heritage all throughout this month: Black History month.
Jones is very involved on campus as captain of the Devilettes dance team and president of the Black Business Student Association. She’s also working hard as program director of the Black African Coalition to present this year’s Black History Month with events happening on all four campuses.
Jones is most excited for the multiple screenings of the new Black Panther movie planned as part of the celebration.
“Seeing a Marvel movie with an almost completely African American cast shows how strong of a community we are,” Jones said.
She is hoping the movie will bring about a conversation with the viewers and is ready to see a Black Marvel superhero make it to the big screen.
Jones is also working with the Black African Coalition to produce videos featuring Black student athletes to recognize them as students first, then athletes. The videos will premiere at the Women’s Basketball game on Feb. 2, Men’s Basketball game on Feb. 10 and the Women’s Gymnastics meet on Feb. 24.
For Jones, Black History Month is more than just the events that are happening on campus — it’s about how far they people of African descent have come as a race.
“The people that came before us worked hard to get us to where we are, so that means we need to work even harder to help benefit the future,” Jones said. “And we really just have an appreciation for their work, because a lot of times I think we take the opportunities we’re given for granted.”
A role model for Jones is Michelle Obama. She admires Obama’s courage when facing the media, and believes it is a message everyone can apply in their own lives.
“No matter what profession you go into, there will always be a group of people looking at you and judging you,” Jones said. “She shows that the way that people view you is not made by the media but by how you handle yourself in a situation.”
Jones believes that heritage months at ASU are important.
“We should celebrate everyone’s history month,” Jones said. “Everyone should participate in their month or week because that’s what makes ASU special. ASU is a very diverse school.”
“If everyone took the time to appreciate everyone else’s culture, then we would have a bigger appreciation for the culture at ASU, as a whole.”