Bradi Murphy | Arts & Life Editor
Students were invited to the event “In Living Color: Welcome to BU” on Thursday, Aug. 28, to learn more about the African American organizations Baylor has to offer.
The Barfield Drawing Room in the Student Union Building was filled with eager students excited to learn more about the different organizations Baylor had to offer for African American students. The Baylor National Association for the Advancement of Colored People put on “In Living Color” and released a promotional video on Tuesday, Aug. 23, that previewed the diverse organizations that would be there. A few among those were Facetime with God, National Association of Black Journalists, National Society of Black Engineers, Heavenly Voices, Alpha Kappa Alpha, African Student Association and many more.
“In Living Color: Welcome to BU” was the second event in the four-day-long Black Student Welcome Weekend.
Sugarland freshman Paige Awodu, who came from a diverse and accepting town, said she was excited to have found those same feelings of acceptance and welcome in her short time at Baylor.
“It’s already felt like home to me,” Awodu said.
Awodu was excited to learn more about the Association for Black Students.
Houston freshman Ryan Marshall was also excited to be with all of the other members of the black community and expand his education as well as attend various football and basketball games this year.
The Association of Black Students hosts many events around campus such as the Fish Fry, Black Heritage Banquet and Baylor’s very own fashion show. On the second and fourth Monday of every month, ABS meets to address both local and global black social issues ranging from lighthearted subjects such as hair products and relationships to heavier issues such as mass incarceration.
ABS is a very close knit group that intends to cultivate, unite and empower the black community here at Baylor, said Dallas sophomore Tierra Carter and Chicago, Ill., junior Marissa Bentivengo.
“It made me realize that everybody goes through the same things as I do,” said Washington, DC, junior Arielle Van-Mballa.
One of ABS’s goals this year is to get more involved and help freshman connect with upperclassmen.
Since partnering with “the Alphas” for the fashion show, ABS has expanded their connections and made even more friends through the process.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sisterhood also had a stand at the In Living Color event. They hold weekly service events and Skee week, an event full of professional development and business forums. The sorority aims to collect one million backpacks within a span of four years and donate them to local schools. This year is their 25th anniversary of the sorority’s presence at Baylor, and members are excited for all of the alumnae to come back for a three-day celebration event.
“Our main focus on campus is to uphold and uplift the [entire community],” said Dallas senior Breana Allen.
The African Student Association aims to educate students about the culture, traditions and community service for members. ASA is known for their dance team. They practice hard for their one-weekend long performance later in the year. ASA was founded at Baylor 20 years ago and has now expanded to 35 universities.
“I love ASA, and I love the people here,” said Katy junior Ashley Obi, the ASA chaplain. “It’s a great environment of people here.”
ASA also helped raise money for The Water Project, a non-profit organization that brings clean water through new wells, rehabbed wells, sand dams, rainwater catchment systems and/or spring protections to schools and medical clinics in the sub-Saharan African area, according to The Water Project’s website. The Water Project engraved Baylor ASA into a newly built well in Africa to show their appreciation for the money Baylor ASA raised.
“What we do can affect other people in the world,” said Louisiana senior Mima Fondong, ASA’s president. “We’re privileged to have clean water every day. We don’t even think about it, but just doing a little bit can make a big difference.”
The Impact Movement is an on-campus bible study that aims to help students on their spiritual journey. It is a free and open environment where members can help each other learn more every week. Houston senior Jacob Farris, president of The Impact Movement, has a unique involvement in the organization. He joined The Impact Movement as a freshman with only eight people, but now their members has almost doubled. Farris’ brother was also in The Impact Movement when he went to Baylor.
“Impact has sort of gone through two generations,” Farris said.
Farris still recieves guidance from his older brother, and he looks forward to the upcoming year and meeting the incoming freshmen.
“We want a new class to come in and take the baton and run with it; we’re excited for freshman to be with us and just want to learn more,” Farris said.