BSA & Black History Month: what’s happened and what’s ahead

The members of the William Jewell Black Student Association (BSA) celebrate Black History Month on the Hill with a full schedule of events. Earlier this month, the organization partnered with the Kappa Alpha Order and held the first #ITooAmJewell campaign. This campaign originally began at Harvard University, where the hashtag was used to illustrate the personal experiences of minority students at the University. President Cari Hill, junior, explained the significance of the new event.

“With events such as the Michael Brown and Bryce Masters tragedy earlier this year and the highly disrespectful comments made on YikYak, we thought that this campaign would be a great way to relieve any tension or frustration on campus,” Hill said.

She also said that she was excited to work on the project with the men of Kappa Alpha Order.

“Like many organizations on campus, both of our organizations have been associated with negative stereotypes and assumptions. I have hope that this campaign will eliminate this and bring a light to those who are willing to fight for Jewell being a campus of equality and acceptance for all,” Hill said.

The organization will hold its annual Love and Soul event Thursday Feb. 26 in the Yates-Gill Union. The event was created in celebration of the Harlem Renaissance to recognize the many talented black poets, singers, writers and dancers who found fame during that period. At the event, both Jewell students and community members are invited to perform with BSA to honor the artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

BSA will also hold a day of service, the date of which has not yet been announced. The organization has a history of participating in Serve and Celebrate as an organization and supporting nonprofit organizations, and has recently set a goal of holding a monthly service day within the organization. For Black History Month, the organization would like to include the entire Jewell community in their service day.

The organization has also been sharing educational materials on its Facebook page, “Black Student Association of William Jewell College.”

On this page, the group also shares other events in and stories from the Kansas City area.

The cabinet members of BSA begin planning for Black History Month at the beginning of the summer by discussing ideas and beginning to organize events. At the end of the fall semester, other members of BSA joined the conversation and began to implement ideas and assigned tasks. The group works over winter break to prepare for the events in February.

Hill hopes that students will be better educated about Black History Month and the people it celebrates.

“I hope that the student body will gain an overall better understanding of black history and culture and its significance to our daily lives,” Hill said.

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