Starting in February, Pittsburg State students from the Black Student Association as well as the Office of Student Diversity will be hosting a formal event to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They will also host many activities throughout February to celebrate Black History Month.
The members of BSA have spent many weeks in preparation for the upcoming events they have planned for the month of February.
“The members of the Black Student Association meet bi-weekly to discuss what they’d like to see on campus,” said Emely Flores, assistant director of Student Diversity Programs. “The 3rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ball was student-initiated. The goal with this event in the future is to expand into an award and scholarship ceremony to recognize the hard work of students within the multicultural groups.”
The Office of Student Diversity and BSA members encourage students at Pitt State to come and celebrate Black History Month.
“One of PSU’s core values is to foster a diverse and international campus culture among students, faculty, and staff that supports an understanding and acceptance of a variety of ideas, beliefs, and cultures, thereby creating opportunity for all,” said Flores. “The celebration and observance of Black History Month is one way the entire campus can participate in this core value.”
One of the events in particular is a “black out” day where BSA encourages students to wear all black on Monday, February 3.
“The Black Out event invites everyone on campus–students, faculty and staff to participate in commemorating Black History in the US,” said Flores. “Our official Kick-off event is the MLK Ball on a Saturday. Monday, February 3rd is a weekday in which the whole campus can support observance of Black History Month. That way those who were unable to attend the formal event can still be part of the celebration. “
The Office of Student Diversity hopes that their student organization can gain more exposure not only on the campus but in the community as well.
“The students that form part of these student organizations get to be part of something bigger than themselves by raising awareness of society’s defects and triumphs,” said Flores. “They get to integrate and connect with the campus at large. By gaining exposure, students become more aware and informed, which stimulates empathy and understanding to want better for our world.”
Although there were many different themes to choose from, BSA and the Diversity Office worked hard to put together amazing events for the month of February. Some of these events include motivational speaker Monti Washington, an Annual Gospel Explosion, Trivia Night, and the Race Project KC.
“Members of Black Student Association, along with Office of Student Diversity staff researched and worked together to develop timely and meaningful themes that would impact or community and campus,” said Flores.