Mercyhurst University’s Black Students for Unity (BSU) club kicked off Black History Month this past Tuesday, Feb. 3, with a film series and panel discussion event titled “Black Lives Matter.”
The evening began with a viewing of “Panther,” a 1995 film documenting the Black Panther movement of the 1960s. After the film, the event featured an open forum, and members of the Erie community, along with Mercyhurst students had plenty to discuss.
Education, occupation, misconceptions of the black community and white privilege were prevalent topics throughout the evening, along with how the minority community is being portrayed by the media.
According to junior Kennethea Wilson, BSU president, by the end of the Black Lives Matter series, the members of BSU hope to highlight and prove the importance of change is something that needs to be distinguished.
“My goal ultimately is to make sure it is not about black people trying to have different laws changed,” Wilson said. “The black struggle is more geared toward getting resources.”
The event was just one of a series of events that BSU plans on hosting throughout the month of February in an attempt to bring students together to advocate for social issues that minority groups are faced with.
“As long as you advocate for the prosperity and unity of people of all sorts of color then you can be part of this group,” Wilson said.
BSU will be hosting a Sweetheart Dinner on Valentine’s Day, Feb. which will feature live entertainment and soul food in the Mercy Heritage Room. Individual tickets are $8 and couples tickets are $12.
On Feb. 21, there will be a ’90s throwback party where students are encouraged to dress up in the garb of their favorite ’90s R&B or Hip Hop artist in the Student Union Great Room.
During the panel, the topic of occupation in the minority community was discussed, as well as the need for minority communities to be assertive in obtaining goals and finding justice.
“If you want something in this world, you have to take it,” said Petrina Marrero, BSU adviser and director of the Mercyhurst Multicultural Center. “I don’t mean steal it, I mean make it your own and replicate it.”