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Promoting Diversity: The NAACP offers inclusivity

Caleb Brown
NAACP President Hakeem Bacon.

A Hostile Environment

On Wednesday, January 31st, students on campus had an email appear in their inboxes from President Bashar Hanna. The email detailed a report received by State Senator Art Haywood, which reported that Mansfield was one of four campuses in the State System that “were found to have had the most egregious accounts of racism and should be considered hostile environments for Black and Brown students.”

“A Parent’s Worst Nightmare”

Hakeem Bacon currently serves as president of Bloomsburg’s NAACP chapter. With the reveal of this struggle for students of ethnicity, “I feel organizations like this are very important because we don’t need students to feel like they can’t come to a university because they could feel alone. A parent’s worst nightmare is sending their kid to a school and something may happen or they feel like they don’t belong. We are here to allow people to send their kids to school and have them feel protected and that they belong here”, said Bacon. 

A New President

The spring semester marks Bacon’s first outing as president of the NAACP. “I’m really excited because I’m a member of the football team so leadership has not just come out of nowhere for me,” Bacon said. As a first time experience, he is bursting with excitement to be a leader on a national level. 

“For me as president, I want to build memberships; I want to bring out the younger crowds, like freshmen and sophomores. Bring them in and get them more involved with things, as well as getting a majority as far as White people, Asians, or anyone else. I want them to feel like they’re included in what we have going on on campus”, said Bacon. 

What is the NAACP?

The NAACP is a national organization that looks to promote and help colored people and get out the word about their struggles. “We want to help the colored people on campus get better opportunities and although it is called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, it’s not just for colored people”, clarified the club president. 

On campus, the NAACP holds community service events, such as their involvement with the Big Event, in order to help students gain hours of community service to put on their resumes. They are also a portal to direct those to national help networks and other opportunities to get involved with other universities. 

Being brought onto campus in 2016, the NAACP had a late start in its inclusion on campus when compared to other inclusive organizations on campus, such as the Multicultural Center, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary. When the original founders of the Bloomsburg chapter came together, they had done so with the goal of creating a place for minorities on campus to have a place to seek help. It was then that they felt the national organization, NAACP, would be, as Bacon stated, “the greatest help we could have had on campus.”

Hosting biweekly meetings, the club will hold their first meeting on Tuesday, February 6th, which will be a Black History Month jeopardy. This is a game night for people to come out, make connections, and find new friends.Meeting at the multicultural center, room 230, at 5 p.m. The NAACP is looking to do a lot more events around campus for people to be more involved.

Meetings surround the idea of building connections with people on campus. However, they do like to spread some historical facts or messages during their meetings as well. “Whether it be NAACP or black history, we just like to spread some sort of knowledge to our audience”, said Bacon about his future goals. 

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Caleb Brown, Howl Editor

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