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February 28, 2022
Joyce Celestin is standing up for education and diversity by joining MSD’s Black Student Union. She along with the rest of her colleagues have big dreams of creating a better MSD through the cultivation of racial tolerance and issues. They plan on taking on their job of creating and managing a safe space for all students of color here at MSD in stride.
“BSU stands for Black Student Union and that may sound like it’s for just one group of people, but I can assure you it’s not. MSD needs a BSU because we need a space where our students can become a union where we could share our stories, learn more about social injustices of the world and continue to fight for social equality,” Celestin said. “It starts small and having a BSU in a PWI is a big step in the process of social acceptance. A BSU is a symbol that everyone is in this together, that’s why I believe MSD needs one.”
Celestin places a particular importance on education and community. She says creating a strong community that represents students of color is imperative to the club’s success.
“The main goal of our project focuses on the fun to distract the students of the messed up world they live in but it’s mainly to show that our students of color are here, they are present, they are seen, and they are appreciated,” Celestin said. “What we are trying to do is strengthen and build what we have, and yes I am saying this a lot but if we can’t build a bond within our own community then we can’t educate the people outside of the community.”
Celestin has a personal agenda in joining the BSU, stating that she hopes to strengthen the Black community from within. She also expresses a goal in improvement and education for herself, stating that she wishes to learn so that she can better inform future participants in the BSU.
“I wanted to become an officer because I wanted to help improve some of the racial issues within the school and build a community for the black students to help them feel welcome and comfortable in a PWI (predominately white institution). Not only that I want equality for all students of color, and I want to make sure that every student knows that we have people speaking for them, not only that I want to improve myself as well,” Celestin said. “Listening into meetings and learning about everybody with discussions, educating myself more on the Black community so I could learn more about my ancestor’s history and inform others in the future.”
The meetings that are held in the BSU are, according to Celestine, sensitive. They focus on racial issues that affect the Black community and the students of color at MSD. Celestine commends the club for taking the issues head on.
“Every other Tuesday we have meetings on different topics within the black community. Everybody is free to join and we welcome everybody so they can see our viewpoints of society and educate themselves on some racially sensitive issues,” Celestin said. “BSU members do not bypass any inappropriate racial comments that are made within the school and out of school and we talk about discriminatory issues with admin frequently.”
The BSU’s goal in creating a safe space has a valuable ally in Joyce Celestin. Education of black history and culture is, according to Celestin, the BSU’s true goal. The club will grow and help create a better MSD.