Georgetown University student organizations hosted projects and demonstrations throughout the month of February to commemorate Black History Month.
The Black Leadership Forum (BLF), a coalition of clubs on campus that serves Black students, largely facilitated the initiatives. The Black MBA Association (BMBAA), which aims to increase the representation of Black leaders in business, also organized opportunities for students to engage with Black History Month.
Saleema Ibrahim (SFS ’23), a BLF facilitator, said one goal of these events was to increase the presence of the Black student community at Georgetown through a combination of academic, social and scholarship events.
“We wanted to make sure that this month we were very visible on this campus and that we’re putting on events that we enjoy,” Ibrahim told The Hoya. “I enjoyed working with the other student leaders in the BLF, and I know that every club was very intentional and was very successful in the events that they put on.”
BLF required that every club within its coalition organize at least one initiative during Black History Month, according to Ibrahim. Eighteen student clubs were involved in planning 27 events throughout the month.
The Georgetown branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (GUNAACP) coordinated several initiatives around Valentine’s Day, including a panel on intergenerational wealth and a first-year karaoke night.
GUNAACP also organized an educational event about Black health care in collaboration with the Georgetown University Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, a program dedicated to spreading awareness about ethnic health disparities and promoting professional opportunities for minority students pursuing pre-health and medicine.
Autumn Davis (CAS ’24), president of GUNAACP, said all of these events sought to support and elevate Black students through both recreational and educational opportunities.
“The goal of these events was to encourage Black joy and scenes of unity, which I feel are especially important in a world where that is a bit difficult to find,” Davis wrote to The Hoya. “This initiative was especially important during such a celebratory and significant month.”
Arielle Prudhomme (CAS ’23), president of GU Women of Color (GUWOC), said GUWOC hosted dance classes that were a precursor to their annual event celebrating Black women called the BRAVE Summit, which stands for Black, resilient, artistic, vigilant and enough.
“The dance class was all about self love and expression,” Prudhomme wrote to The Hoya. “The theme for this year’s summit is Artistic (a never ending Renaissance), all about tapping in to the art inside all of us and breathing life into it. And I think we got a taste of that during the dance class.”
Prudhomme said GUWOC also hosted an event with Alpha Kappa Alpha, where participants discussed life as a Black woman at a predominantly white institution.
“It was heartwarming to see all the women come together and share our experiences, but it was concerning that the shared sentiment was that Black women do not feel adequately supported on this campus,” Prudhomme wrote.
Maesha Ulcena (GRD ’25), vice president of marketing for BMBAA, said each member of the group’s board selected a business to feature for a Black Business Highlight series on Instagram.
“From business owners we knew personally and wanted to celebrate, to individuals we looked up to in our professional industries, to businesses that spoke to our hobbies, the series was both a great educational opportunity and a reflection of people that make up BMBAA,” Ulcena wrote to The Hoya.
Kilandra Bass (GRD ’25), co-president of BMBAA, said her group organized a number of projects open to both graduate and undergraduate students in the McDonough School of Business (MSB), including a food drive, a potluck night and a weekly happy hour event featuring a Black-owned winery.
BMBAA collected 55 items through the food drive that it will donate to So Others Might Eat, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that works to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through a holistic approach.
Bass said the potluck encouraged attendees to bring a dish that reminds them of home, which highlighted numerous Black diasporas.
“That was really cool, because we have people from all over — people from the African continent, people who are African American, people from the Caribbean and then members who aren’t even Black who are a part of our club,” Bass told The Hoya.
Ulcena said she was proud that BMBAA’s initiatives throughout Black History Month resonated with the organization’s values of diversity, social service and community.
“I was really proud of the events and initiatives we were able to put together for Black History Month because we got to carry out multiple core values of both Georgetown and BMBAA,” Ulcena wrote.
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