In celebration of Black History Month, Isla Vista Recreation & Park District (IVRPD) will host Forward Ever, Backward Never, a free outdoor event for all ages, 3-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Little Acorn Park, 901 Embarcadero Del Mar.

A celebration of Black culture, the event will feature an African drumming workshop, poetry, live musical performance, art experience, and a free screening of the Marvel Studios film “Black Panther.”

IVRPD is holding the event in collaboration with Rene Fisher-Mims’ Mawusi Women’s African drum circle S.H.I.N.E. (Sisters, Healing, Inspiring, Nurturing and Empowering); and in creative partnership with Sojourner the Poet & Friends, The Rahkas, and Isla Vista Arts.

“It is a blessing and an honor to take part of a community event that pays homage to history, diversity and culture,” said Alla Rahka McKeon. “Through music, the universal language, we show reverence to history and culture, as well as continuing to amplify the messages and rhythms of the people.”

“I am excited to be a part of this event which celebrates and uplifts Black history,” said Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Santa Barbara poet laureate, 2015-17. “Poetry in its essence acknowledges our lived experiences and often is the inspiration for our way forward.”

“Our goal in hosting this event was to create a shared community space where people could come together to celebrate black culture,” said IVRPD general manager Kimberly Kiefer.

Live music will be performed by the Rahkas, a reggae band based in Santa Barbara that features a female lead vocalist and blends soulful keys with electrifying guitar to create a repertoire of original sounds and fresh spins on classic covers.

Refreshments will be served and and rock art offered while supplies last. The event schedul follows:

3-3:45 p.m.: S.H.I.N.E. Mawusi Women’s Drumming Workshop
4-4:30 p.m.: Sojourner the Poet & Friends
4:30-6:30 p.m.: The Rahkas live musical performance
6:30-8:30 p.m.: Screening of “Black Panther,” presented by Isla Vista Arts

For questions or additional information, contact Nick Norman at or call 805-350-8751.