This past Sunday, students gathered to watch a spacecraft launch named after alumnus and first black astronaut, Robert Lawrence Jr.
While the launch itself didn’t end up happening, the gathering itself gave the Bradley community the opportunity to celebrate Lawrence’s social and scientific achievements.
In a way, the event itself launched a bigger discussion about events like these. This upcoming week, many student organizations like the Speech team, Performance Plug, and the Black Student Alliance will host black history themed events to both celebrate and bring
awareness to the month’s purpose. These events are great to see on Bradley’s campus, and we hope to see a lot of students take these opportunities to learn more about different perspectives.
According to the university’s 2019 statistical report, 71 percent of the undergraduate population identifies as Caucasian. Also, student discourse has often expressed criticism of Bradley for not having a very inclusive campus culture.
However, student organizations have truly been a driving force this year in creating a more inclusive environment for those in minority communities.
Chinese Culture Club recently hosted a successful Chinese New Year celebration. The Muslim Association held their annual Hijaab Awareness event. Last semester, the NAACP Bradley chapter resurfaced and grabbed community attention with
its candlelit Black Lives Matter event. The campus is booming with chances to learn about different groups and cultures, and it’s time to point the finger away from enrollment demographics and toward ourselves. These organizations’ efforts are in vain if we as students don’t take time to attend and learn. The next step to successfully create an inclusive culture is to immerse ourselves.
Next time you see a cultural event on Hilltop Happenings or Bradley Presence, maybe invite some of your friends to attend with you. It’s as simple as that.
The many events being hosted for Black History month present this opportunity. Take advantage.