The Voice

New NAACP Club focuses on student activism and making a change at BU

By Bitania Yemane, News Editor

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     “This organization is about empowerment; not only discussing the issues, but taking action and being the change we want to see,” said Jimel Calliste, Bloomsburg University NAACP Club President. Calliste and other members in the Executive Board of the NAACP Club come together to start the beginning of an organization that was a vision started by the late Dr. Howard.

     “This all happened because of him,” said Dorron Hunt, NAACP Treasurer, “He put so much effort in trying to make this into a reality and passed away before making it happen so we are grateful for what he started.”

     The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in Bloomsburg University is a club focused on tackling problems related to social justice activism and racial discrimination at the local level.

     “The mission of the NAACP is to inform youth of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and political status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities, and to ensure political, educational, social, economic equality for students here at Bloom,” said Calliste,

     Members in the club will look into different social issues to learn about the status of ethnic minorities in the United States.

     “We do this by breaking it down into six game changers; criminal justice, education, health, political action, youth work, and equality empowerment.”

     Although the members of the Executive board are excited about the new organization starting in Bloomsburg University, their hopes are to turn the club into a chapter.

     “The NAACP club in Bloomsburg University is not an official chapter,” said Calliste. We are a club, but we are trying transition it into a chapter in the near future. That is our goal.”

     Calliste and Hunt want to emphasize the importance of diversity on campus and want students to know that the club is open for any student who is interested in joining.

     “This is about coming together and making Bloomsburg a better community for everyone. We recognize how college campuses are usually separated and divided. We need to be more inclusive. We want to make a collaborate effort in crossing racial boundaries and want students from all ethnic backgrounds to join this organization,” said Calliste.

     “I realized that when some students who are not African American come up to our table and we say the “National Association for the Advancement of Color People” they assume that the club is not for them and we want to stress the fact that it is for anyone of any race. It’s important that not only African American students participate in this organization because Bloomsburg University is a school filled with students from all different ethnic backgrounds,” said Amir Bostic, NAACP Vice President,  “In order for us to come together, we have to break that boundary.”

     Members of the Executive Board also want students to understand that the organization is more of a serious political group rather than a social one. The mission is take action rather than just discuss the issues.

     “If a  student comes to us about any problem that falls under what this organization stands against, we will then take steps to handle the issue. We know that there are many things that happen on campus that no one talks about because students don’t know where to go. We want this club to be a place where students feel comfortable to address any issue related to racial discrimination,” said Calliste.  We are here to listen to student’s needs and to advocate for them so they can have a voice.”

     Throughout the semester the Executive Board has been working on organizing events for the spring and informing students about the club while getting people to join. In Spring 2018, the organization will begin to have meetings and will hold events including a memorial for the late Dr. Howard, the IMAGE awards, and hosting a Ms. And Mr. NAACP event. There will also be new positions opening for the next semester for any student who is interested.  

The Executive Board of the NAACP Club (left to right): Dorron Hunt, Treasurer, Angela Montano, Secretary, Amir Bostic, Vice President, Jimel Calliste, President.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimel Calliste, President and Amir Bostic, Vice President, (right) set up a table at the Husky Lounge to talk to students about the club with a sign up sheet for students who are interested.

 

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New NAACP Club focuses on student activism and making a change at BU