During the month of February, Black History Month is celebrated around the country, and of course here at Boise State. Acknowledging and taking part in the celebrations of the rich history of this month is important, and Boise State University’s Black Student Association is doing just that.
Jason Holman, a political science major and president of the Black Student Association (BSA), was eager to spread the word regarding their Black History Month gala that occurred Feb. 2 in the Jordan Ballroom on campus.
Holman is responsible for the creating and organizing the Black History Month gala, with the help of the MLK Living Legacy organization and the Student Equity Center.
The gala was filled with a multitude of diverse students and local members of the community, all dressed up to take part in the festivities and speeches that occurred throughout the event.
“We are here to uplift and pursue black excellence,” Holman said.
These organizations also coordinated the MLK Day of Greatness March and Rally, held on Jan. 16 at the Idaho Capitol, and even brought Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to campus.
Kendi, a New York Times bestselling author recognized on Times magazine’s “100 most influential people” list for his “anti-racist” activism and scholarly work in American discrimination policies, was invited to Boise State to discuss the importance of race theory and the ongoing impact of racism on our world.
The BSA and MLK Living Legacy also worked to implement a new scholarship program that will be available to students this summer. The details are still in the process of being finalized according to Holman.
With more than 300 people attending the gala, many students found excitement simply being there. Students sang and danced, while some took the opportunity to take stylish pictures all dressed up.
Arturo Valadez, a freshman at Boise State, attended the gala and really enjoyed his experience.
“I really enjoyed being in such an inclusive environment and hearing about diversity and the adversity that students of color and marginalized students can accomplish if we come together,” Valadez said.
After a near two-year hiatus, the BSA is back in full-motion to bring inclusivity and acceptance to Boise State’s campus. Valadez is just one example of students that are excited to take part in the experience.
Boise State freshman and new member of the Black Student Association Tamera Judon wants to share the work done by the BSA. Judon, who had never before heard of the BSA and took a chance by attending the gala, was inspired by the accomplishments of the BSA but questioned why it seems to still be a relatively unseen organization.
“Hopefully it will reach more people,” Judon said.
For those who missed the gala, Holman assures that more events like these are on their way, with a gala of this magnitude occurring yearly.
With Boise State University having a rather low percentage of students of color, organizations like the Black Student Alliance and MLK Living Legacy are sure to provide a welcoming community to those searching for it.
Both of these smaller organizations are working hard to leave a big impact. The new scholarship, rallies and formal events are ways that students can connect with their peers and accomplish their dreams.
To all students that feel they are looking for their people, the BSA is waiting patiently for you and is accepting new members constantly. Reach out to them and take part in something big, or simply find your community here at Boise State.