At the open house held by the Black Student Movement Tuesday at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, Mangum further explained the group’s plans for the year and shared examples of how his platform has already been put in action.
“We started with the activism and effective programming already earlier this year with the UNC ‘Don’t shoot’ photo, and we want to have more programming moving forward about the Mike Brown shooting throughout the year,” Mangum, a senior, said.
Mangum said he wants the dialogue on Ferguson and cultural relations to continue throughout the year.
“I’m hoping within the next few weeks for us to have an event to educate our members about what happened at Ferguson,” said junior Jeremy McKellar, the executive assistant of the Black Student Movement.
“We are looking forward to branching out to other organizations around campus to promote and instilling cultural diversity.”
Taffye Benson Clayton, the faculty adviser for the Black Student Movement, said the organization does a great job collaborating with other groups, like Carolina Black Caucus, as well as addressing the most pressing news and relating it to students on UNC’s campus.
“The social media thing they started in the Pit about Ferguson I think has fueled some of the panels that have followed on-campus about it,” said Clayton, an associate vice chancellor and chief diversity officer for the University.
As far as diversity on campus, Magnum said he wants to work on ways to improve the graduation rate of black males.
Mangum also talked about upcoming events with groups, including the Carolina Hispanic Association and the Campus Y, and a group meeting to discuss students’ voting rights before the election season.
“A lot of the voting changes (in North Carolina) are particularly relevant to college students, minority students, students of underrepresented populations,” he said.
As far as accessibility goes, McKellar said the group is working to make sure all members feel involved. The group has 14 subcommittees that range from a political group to a dance company to an a cappella group.
“Throughout the years it’s been with member retention so that is one of the things we have been focusing — just being engaged with our members and making sure they know we value their voices and opinions,” McKellar said during the open house Tuesday.
“We want to make sure we are being more diverse, even though we are a minority-driven organization , we need to expose what we are talking about with students and other organizations whether that be with student government or any other ones.”