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BSM Activities Feature Culture, Foster Awareness

Members said the organization is seeking to promote education and interaction on campus through a variety of activities during the next few weeks. "The main goal is to educate the campus community about the history of the BSM and what it has to offer," said BSM Education Committee Chairman Brad Picot, who led planning for events.

The creation of a BSM Month recognized by the University was one of the 22 demands the BSM issued to the late Chancellor Michael Hooker in 1997. November is significant to the BSM because the group was founded in November 1967.

The month's activities began Nov. 3 and will continue all month. "I'm excited about the variety of events," said BSM President Tyra Moore. "It's not all cultural and not all educational. It's both."

One of the most prominent educational events planned is the Health Fair on Nov. 13. "Our Health Fair is going to focus on a lot of health issues that face the black community, but they don't just apply to African-Americans," Picot said.

Picot said BSM also is holding Pit-sits twice each week in November. BSM members will be available at these times to answer questions about BSM and listen to concerns.

"We want to really reach out to the larger community to create positive interaction," Moore said. "Though one of our goals is to educate, not everything is about education. Interaction is important - creating that safe atmosphere is one of our goals."

The Celebration of Black Womanhood on Nov. 18 is another event scheduled to provide that interaction. As a part of a forum entitled "Healing the Soul: Strengthening Your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health," workshops for women on different aspects of health will be held, said event chairwoman Sundarkia Newman.

"I'm hoping that since we're all about honoring the strength of black women, that hopefully black women will come together and come away strengthened and unified as a group, as black women," Newman said.

Having an entire month of events required the BSM to start planning in August. "In the past, we haven't been as organized as we'd have liked to have been with planning," Moore said. "I'm just excited that we have all our committees and subgroups participating. It's a full membership event."

BSM Vice President Jokena Smith said the variety of activities gives everyone a chance to participate. "You're more aware that things will be going on in that month," Smith said. "It just gives you more opportunities to come to something."

Moore said she hopes the month will lead to a greater understanding between the UNC community and the BSM.

"I think there are a lot of misconceptions about this organization, which is true of lots of organizations on campus," Moore said. "But I feel that November is a great opportunity to reach out to students about those misconceptions."

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