We Matter Week: Black Culture Shows its Face on Campus

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We Matter Week: Black Culture Shows its Face on Campus

Students gather at a panel for We Matter Week hosted by the Black Leadership Council.

Students gather at a panel for We Matter Week hosted by the Black Leadership Council.

Students gather at a panel for We Matter Week hosted by the Black Leadership Council.

Students gather at a panel for We Matter Week hosted by the Black Leadership Council.

Michaella Huck

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The Black Leadership Council hosted a four-day event, We Matter Week, last week in hopes of orchestrating a safe space for black students to discuss their experiences and celebrate their culture on campus.

BLC is an umbrella organization that oversees all of the CSUN clubs that focus on black students. This year, BLC President Deion Turner has made it his goal to ensure “every black student on campus feels like they belong.” We Matter Week was created to kick that plan into action.

The event had a series of discussions and workshops that were each centered around aspects of black identity.

“We need more events that uplift the black community and our narratives need to be told, that’s why we’re doing this,” Turner said.

The first discussion was a student-led panel focusing on the importance of sexual health and wellness. It tapped into the taboo subject of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, as well as tips on relationships. BLC Director of Finance Tatiana Jackson said, “It is important for the black community specifically because we usually do not have access to sexual education and other resources so just by letting a friend know what’s going on, you can make better choices and relate to each other.”

Tuesday’s event was a college night fundraiser at Northridge Skateland, where everyone was welcome to attend and support the club. Historically, roller skating has been ingrained in black culture and community. BLC explained they wanted to do something “people had a connection to.”

The final two events focused on the appreciation of black men and women. Women were celebrated on Wednesday with a “Paint and Sip,” where canvases, paint and drinks were provided. Music played while women of all backgrounds were free to express their ideas and bond with one another. The event was followed by cultural “step” performances by CSUN’s Zeta Phi Beta and Delta Sigma Theta sororities.

Men were celebrated on Thursday with an event hosted by an organization known as Black Male Initiative. The event was a fireside chat where games were played and those who participated were given an opportunity to speak their mind on a variety of topics.

“When we all come together, you feel more welcome because you see people who look like you, we all just came out and had fun,” said Lia Hurd, a CSUN student who attended the event.

The club hopes to create more events that allow the black community on campus to network and be themselves.

“Due to the black population being so small, some of us never see people that look like us in our classes,” Jackson said. “So to know that there are people here with you may give a person extra comfort that can make a difference in a person’s college experience.”