Although Black History Month is coming to an end, members of the Stevenson University campus are continuing to host events to commemorate and celebrate Black achievements. One of these upcoming events is the Black Lives Matter (BLM) showcase, scheduled for Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Rockland banquet room.
The showcase was originally founded by Famata Jalloh, a Stevenson University alumnus, and Kenetia Pinkett, a Stevenson University graduate student and event logistics coordinator for the Center of Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). This year marks the third year for the BLM showcase. Pinkett said that the idea for the showcase was formed after she and Jalloh voiced frustrations they had about the “increasing instances of African Americans losing their lives at the hands of police brutality.”
“One of the young men killed… in Baltimore was Freddie Gray,” Pinkett said. In 2015, Gray – a 25-year-old Black male – died from injuries sustained while he was in police custody, according to The Atlantic. Following his death, a surge of protests and riots were triggered in the city of Baltimore.
“Seeing as though Baltimore is close to SU, we felt as though this was a problem that our students in the Stevenson community should not have the privilege to ignore,” Pinkett said.
CDI, the African Student Union (ASU), the Black Student Union (BSU) and Arts Alive! will collaborate to host the Black Lives Matter showcase. According to Pinkett, this year’s showcase focuses on education and advocacy surrounding “sexual trauma and violence” faced by Black women and girls. Additionally, an added layer about women empowerment will be emphasized at the showcase.
Aimed to be an informative event that also features entertainment, the BLM showcase boasts live performances from the Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma fraternities, BSU Allure Models team, and ASU AfroSensationz dance team. Stevenson’s chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is also included in the line-up, as well as guest musical artist OG Ahkie, according to Pinkett.
Raffles and an educational panel spotlighting Stevenson students and alumni will also be happening at the event. Attendees can shop at vendor tables set up inside the venue, too.
Emani Carter, a third-year student at Stevenson, is one of the vendors who will have her work sold at the event. Carter said she will be selling abstract art pieces that she has made and “saved in hopes of an opportunity like this one.”
Food from Georgia Peach will be available to purchase for $3, according to the flyer advertising the BLM showcase. Those who purchase food are entered into the raffle pool automatically, noted Pinkett.
Both Carter and Pinkett said that they are excited for the event to take place. Pinkett explained that she is glad to see everyone’s hard work pay off at the showcase, which is expected to draw approximately 130 to 200 attendees.
“Myself, Famata, Imani [the showcase’s stage manager] and all of the performers are working extremely hard to provide Stevenson with an event that is properly executed,” Pinkett added.
The showcase is free for Stevenson students, while guests pay $2 for entry. With questions regarding the showcase, contact Pinkett through campus email.