Black History Month at the University of California, Riverside will have extra significance this year as the campus’ African Student Programs (ASP) office will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Formerly referred to as Black Student Programs, ASP is generally agreed to have formed in 1972 out of the campus’ Black Student Union and the Black Studies Department, which was dissolved and changed into an interdisciplinary program in 1972. Since then, ASP has been a key component of the success of African-American students at UCR.

Scheduled events include stage performances, screenings of films and speakers. Ken Simons, director of African Student Programs, said he hopes to see a wide cross-section of the community throughout the month.

“The fact that we are celebrating Black History Month does not mean our events are only for people of African descent,” he said. “It’s important for all members of our campus and community to see history through the lens of black people and learn about the many contributions they have made throughout history.”

A full calendar of events can be found on the ASP website: asp.ucr.edu/events/Pages/default.aspx.