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BTC’s Soul Food Luncheon: A 40-year celebratory tradition of unity and support
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Blackhawk Technical College held a Soul Food Luncheon on Feb. 20. The event has been going on for 40 years. Photo by Amanda Urish, Blackhawk Technical College.

JANESVILLE — Nearly 200 people gathered Tuesday, Feb. 20 for Blackhawk Technical College’s Soul Food Luncheon, a tradition that started 40 years ago to raise money for the college’s Diversity Scholarship Fund.

“This event is about bringing together our community to celebrate Black History Month, enjoy each other’s company and to also give thanks,” said Dr. Tracy Pierner, President of Blackhawk. “This longstanding tradition is really about breaking bread with one another, building bridges, making connections, forging friendships and helping our students.”

Organized by Blackhawk’s Multi-Cultural Alliance, the Student Government Association, the Culinary Arts Department, and the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation, the Soul Food Luncheon serves as a vital component of the college’s Black History Month festivities, contributing to scholarships and promoting a sense of community.

This year’s event featured musical performances by Lewy V, Curtis Crump Jr., and Genesis Renji. Jackie Jackson, a Blackhawk instructor, emceed the event, which also featured Julieta Rosales, a Blackhawk Nursing student and recipient of a Diversity Scholarship.

“I am very grateful for the help that I received through this scholarship. It definitely makes it easier to start school and to buy books and other needs,” said Rosales. “Thank you for your donations. They made a huge impact on all of us students who want to make a better future for our families and society.”

The menu included baked/fried chicken, ham, fried catfish, BBQ ribs, okra, candied yams, collard greens, cole slaw, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, cornbread and rolls.