Seton Hall takes on Black History Month
African Cultural Organizations (ACO) on campus have extended the celebration of black history month to April 27 in order to honor historical and modern day African Americans through student activities and events.
The African Student Association (ASA), Black Student Union (BSU), National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and Black Men of Standard (BMS) took this different approach to get students involved on campus this year.
Shaaliyah Lyons, a junior sports management major and the president of NCNW, said that the organizations wanted to expand on their events to increase participation and learning experiences.
“Everyone is working together with all the presidents from each organization to unify the events in all,” Lyons said. “We just wanted different types of events to start stimulating the minds of students here at Seton Hall.”
Lyons said that she hopes that this calendar impacts the black community at Seton Hall since she has seen a decline in participation in events organized by the ACO since her freshman year.
The ACO calendar includes annual events and newly formed programs that the organizations created for this year.
ACO events such as Black Love, Black Jeopardy and the Yale Conference have sparked conversation amongst the student body as to why black history is important.
“It is the reflection of our past civil rights leaders and pioneers who paved the way for us today,” Josh Williams, sophomore business law major, said. “Each generation of black youth needs to understand the struggle and sacrifices that blacks endured to receive equal rights in American society today.”
Maurice Rose, a sophomore social and behavioral science major, said, “Without their efforts and accomplishment we would not have the freedom we have today.”
Black Love, an annual event organized by NCNW that took place on Feb. 10, presented a panel discussing topics such as homosexuality and interracial relationships. At the event, single men and women shared their constructive points of view to encourage audience members to reflect on their past experiences.
The Yale Conference, also known as the Black Solidarity Conference, is a BSU organized annual black empowerment conference held annually at Yale University in February. BSUs from other campuses participate in panel discussions and formal events.
Rachelle Austin, a sophomore occupational therapy major, said she attended this year’s Yale Conference because her friends encouraged her to go after they were empowered by the unity of the black community at other campuses.
“The panels at the Black Solidarity Conference really showed us that there is so much that young people can do to help inspire others,” Austin said. “It was really empowering to see not only African Americans, but college students of all ethnicities coming together to speak on common issues that we face today. Everyone had an opinion, and there was a great level of respect among the participants.”
Sedria Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org