Black Student Union welcomes Dr. Marc Lamont Hill as key-note speaker

Nadine Matas / Contributing Writer

February marks the beginning of Black History Month and campus organizations are planning out events to celebrate. This week the Black Student Union will have guest speaker, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, visit the university to kick off Black History Month.

BSU expressed excitement for his visit, seeing as he will help to engage the community in their events this month.

Rashaad Perry-Patterson is a junior majoring in political science as part of FIU’s School of Law Program and is the education and enrichment coordinator for the Black Student Union. He is one of the co-chairs for BSU’s Black History Month festivities .

Esi Fynn-Obeng in her fourth year at FIU and is a double major in communication arts and sociology. Fynn-Obeng serves as the educations and traditions coordinator for the Black History Month committee.

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is a social activist who has been on different media platforms speaking out against racial injustices. Hill is also a professor, author and journalist who has written books on the prison industrial system, reported and commented on the ideologies of republican and democratic candidates, has provided commentary on the retention rates of schools and universities.

Perry-Patterson says “Because [Hill] is black, we’re excited that we can show that we have someone that dynamic in our community who can reach out to other students and other races.”

Fynn-Obeng adds, “So much is going on in our community and he has been very vocal about these issues.”

Fynn-Obeng also mentions that Hill is a great example for the message they want to convey this Black History Month because “The theme being ‘I am’ and ‘I am social change’, ties into what we are hoping that he’s going to get people ready for Black History Month.”

BSU will have several forums and events for community interaction throughout the month of February. Fynn-Obeng expressed that one of the main reasons Hill’s presentation is something to look forward to is the hope that he will inspire the community to participate in the entirety of Black History Month. “When people hear him speak and see his presentation they’ll get excited for Black History Month and get excited for the black community on campus” she said.

Perry-Patterson adds that Hill will “kick [events] off on the awareness and education level, to better understand why we’re doing what we’re doing for Black History Month”.

“Hopefully he doesn’t just influence the FIU community” Fynn-Obeng says, “but everyone in the community around us as well”.  

The police department is also invited to the event as an emphasis put on the Black Lives Matter movement, which will be addressed in the presentation. According to Perry-Patterson and Fynn-Obeng, this is to show that the students, the community and the officers are not at a battle with each other, but that they stand together. Perry-Patterson says he hopes for the community to understand and agree with the fact that “when we respond, we respond together” in the search for justice. BSU is holding the event featuring Hill as the keynote speaker Wed. Feb. 3, in the GC Ballrooms at 8 p.m.

[Image from Flickr]

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