The campus came to life this month while celebrating Black History. Black joy was this month's theme, aimed at educating different experiences while highlighting the joy of being Black.
Rory Thompson, president of Black Student Union, understands the importance of celebrating Black History.
"Even though I personally believe that Black History should be celebrated [every day], I think that putting on Black History Month programming really helps celebrate and affirm Black culture on a [predominantly white institution's] campus," states Thompson.
Black Student Union and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion took the lead in creating and sponsoring over ten events. Their events ranged from a movie viewing and live podcast recording to influential speakers, such as Thomas McClary, a past member of The Commodores.
McClary founded the band alongside Lionel Richie while freshmen in college in the 70s. Throughout his presentation to Flagler students, McClary focused on the importance of persistence and assertiveness needed when chasing one's dream.
In addition to Thomas McClary, here's a recap of a few events held in Black History Month.
Black Owned Business Expo
Black Student Union held a black-owned business expo that featured student-created businesses. The business owners focused their interests on a variety of services. One of the businesses included HotBox904, a snack delivery service owned by basketball athlete Jaziana Mathis, with teammate Sadie Russell.
Live Podcast Recording: Position equals Destiny
Sam Sawney, a media production student, is currently producing a podcast as his senior thesis in the honors program. He partnered with Black Student Union and Flagler College Television to live-stream one of his episodes.
This episode's focus was on the pride that comes with being Black. The online and in-person audiences were received an inside look at the panel's understandings of Black joy. The panelists consisted of Rory Thompson, Black Student Union President; Heather Carter, Director of Program Development of Florida State College in Jacksonville; and Kimberlyn Elliot, Assistant Director of Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center.
Black Innovation Gallery
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion invited the Black community across campus to share their stories, interests, and creations. Displayed next to historical figures, such as Zora Neale Hurston, were poetry, books, businesses, and art pieces created by students, faculty, and staff of Flagler's Black Community.
International Student, Jean-Marc Augusty, one of the many creators and innovators, featured his photography focused on nature and structures.