New student organization caters to Black communicators

Professor Maurice Johnson holds an HBCUS organization t-shirt. Photo courtesy of historicallyblackcommunication Instagram

A new organization has been officially introduced on Florida A&M’s campus and it’s targeting Black communicators who are interested in improving their skills professionally, building a stronger connection with other students and gaining a head start in their careers.

Maurice Johnson, a former visiting professor at FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication who has returned as an adjunct professor, is the founder of Historically Black Communications Undergrad Students [HBCUS]. It provides a multi-media platform for Black student journalists, media practitioners and content creators.

The inspiration behind this organization came last school year while Johnson was teaching at Florida State University. While teaching FSU students, Johnson said he felt the responsibility to make sure Black students was nurtured in their own talents.

“I still felt my responsibility was to nurture Black geniuses,” Johnson.

The organization’s goal is to encourage and motivate Black students and show their creativity without refining them. The first stage of growth will be students who attend an HBCU recruited in the organization, attend writing workshops to build writing skills, and use their talents in other platforms that will showcase them and build their resumes. The following step will be bringing this organization to other HBCUs and predominantly white campus and universities in Africa. The final step will consist of every Black student in the HBCUS organization to communicate with each other regarding news in the world and in their area.

Johnson was this organization to help improve Black students in their communication skills and in other areas in their field so they can be successful using their talents.

“When people think communication, they often think journalists, but the communication spectrum is so vast, I want students to be able to do public relations, and advertising and marketing,” Johnson said.

Johnson has a history of being a great mentor and educator to his students. Students describe Johnson’s teaching style as very interactive and knowledgeable due to his modern techniques as an educator. Most of his students who have taken advantage of Johnson’s teachings have been doing incredible in their career. One of these students is the editor in chief of Journey Magazine, Brianna Mitchel.

Johnson is very confident for the future with HBCUS and says he can’t wait to start the organization’s journey at FAMU. Students who are interested in learning more about the program can follow the official HBCUS Instagram page, historicallyblackcommunications. The first interest meeting will be on Nov. 1.