Don’t you get tired of the same old motivational seminars? “What we need to do is…what we should do is…” We all sit around, nodding our heads in verification. However, more often than not, it seems as though the call to action falls on deaf ears.
Florida A&M University hosted the State of the Black Student Summit Tuesday, Sept. 27. An impeccable panel was brought together to discuss topics ranging from finance and investments to spirituality versus sexuality. Each panelist presented their experiences, opinions and thoughts, which brought new light to these topics.
For me, what made this summit different from most was the call to not only talk about it, but to be about it. After addressing issues such as the relationship between the older generation and today’s youth and hip-hop’s representation of the black community, panelist Jeffrey Johnson, or “Cousin Jeff,” of BET’s “The Cousin Jeff Chronicles,” stated that the summit would be in vain if we did nothing to try to resolve these issues. He charged students to form focus groups that would search to find the source of the problem and most importantly, come up with a plan of action to see that problem effectively addressed.
We, the students of FAMU, the largest HBCU in the nation, have the power to create unprecedented change.
Remember Patricia Stephens Due? She was arrested for sitting in at a lunch counter in 1960. She and other FAMU students made history by serving 49 days in jail, rather than pay a fine for their protest. They were part of the first “jail-in” during the civil rights movement and it marked the beginning of a life seeking justice. She and her husband, John Due, a civil rights attorney, continually fought for human rights since their days on the campus of FAMU.
The drive for change and progression runs deep in our veins as does the orange and green. Either through helping the homeless, hurricane Katrina victims, reading to or mentoring kids, I believe that as individuals, we have our successes.
The Thomas DeSaille Tucker Leadership Institute, the second think tank only to Stanford, is ready to face these issues.
This is a real opportunity for FAMU to come together for a true cause, with people who truly want to see change. Diversity of ideas, thoughts, opinions and passion, will make this institute the beginning of a new FAMU.
We have been charged to make a change within our community, our nation and our world. Together we stand, divided we fall. Let’s not let the efforts of the State of the Black Student Summit be in vain.
Kumasi M. Aaron is a third-year accounting student from Sebring. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.