Synergy Bank Helps Bring Community Together

Every February, Black History Month programming brings people from all around the Bayou Region to campus. They come to listen to panels, participate in cultural activities and attend shows like the Negro Spiritual.

An annual celebration, each of the programs are designed to commemorate the achievements of Black people throughout U.S. history.

“The program is important to the community in that it hosts activities that reflect on the past as well as address many issues facing Black Americans in our local community such as mass incarceration, poverty, voting rights, education, single-parent households, unemployment and police brutality,” says Dr. Melinda Jefferson, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice.

Events range from lectures, panel discussions, musicals, plays, themed cuisines, open-mic events and more. They’re able to put on these events thanks to the help of title sponsor, Synergy Bank.

“We are pleased to be able to help make these programs available for the students, faculty, staff and other members of the community as a whole to enjoy,” said Jerry P. Ledet Jr. (BS ’83), Synergy Bank president and CEO. “We hope that by sponsoring Black History month programs at Nicholls, it affords the university the opportunity to provide culturally rich programs and events that recognize African Americans today and in our history.”

Dr. Jefferson notes that what the public sees each year would not be possible without the support of the community and sponsors, such as Synergy Bank. Their contributions help defray the costs by providing refreshments for guests, advertising for the events and transportation.

“Celebrating Black History month helps us demonstrate and reiterate our commitment to helping our community grow stronger together.”
– Jerry P. Ledet, JR.

“The support from Synergy Bank provides an opportunity for the committee to host several events that’s educational, cultural and fun for the student body, the faculty and staff, and community members,” Dr. Jefferson says. “With the Synergy Bank support, the committee members are able to celebrate the history, achievements and contributions of Black Americans and demonstrate the university commitment to diversity and inclusion. The events give students and the community an opportunity to better understand the rich traditions and culture of Blacks and those of African descent.”

Ledet says Black History Month is more important than ever for the community and the nation
as a whole.

“Celebrating Black History month helps us demonstrate and reiterate our commitment to helping our community grow stronger together,”
he says.

Black History Month also allows for people to be educated on important issues that impact the Black community. For example, last year, the event centered around the right to vote. Panels discussed the importance of voting, lectures discussed the history of black men and women earning the right to vote, and programs also were designed to help students get registered.

“The program allows students to openly celebrate their heritage and the accomplishments of Black Americans, whose contributions were often neglected or misappropriated because of racism,” Jefferson says. “The program is important to Nicholls and its students because it allows the committee to create fun and educational events that draw attention to the campus community and the culture of Black Americans.” – Cain Madden