The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday January 24th

Big plans: BSM's first general body meeting

Jeremy McKellar, senior, is president of the Black Student Movement and his friend Joseph Kouaho is the Embrace Community Coach.
Buy Photos Jeremy McKellar, senior, is president of the Black Student Movement and his friend Joseph Kouaho is the Embrace Community Coach.

The Black Student Movement kicked off a new year with discussion, reflection and pizza Wednesday evening.

Jeremy Mckellar has been involved in the organization since his freshman year and has moved up the ladder to his present position of president.

“I was wanting to find a community on campus, and this was home for me,” he said.

Current members made an effort to welcome freshman who showed their enthusiasm for BSM.

Sierra Edwards, a freshman biology major, said she’s excited about this new opportunity.

“In my high school we didn’t have an organization like this, so I’m excited to come to Carolina and have something like this,” she said.

The meeting had an overarching theme Mckellar encouraged students to engage in, both within and outside the barriers of the organization.

“As president, I feel that the best thing is unity,” he said. “That transcends being involved within our own circle and collaborating with other organizations on campus. It’s something that we really feel must latch onto the minds of our students. When we’re separated we aren’t effective.”

Cooperations like Friday’s Culture on the Lawn, an event involving musical performances organized in conjunction with Carolina for the Kids, will promote unity and positivity, Mckellar said.

Ronda Manuel, chairwoman of the student engagement committee for the Black Alumni Reunion, attended the meeting to welcome new students and encourage them to get involved with the reunion group’s events.

“It’s a great opportunity for alumni to come back to campus, to reconnect with old friends, faculty members, and just have a good time as a Tar Heel family,” Manuel said regarding the plethora of opportunities within the Reunion, including an annual student-alumni dinner and a tailgating fish-fry.

The meeting also showcased the unveiling of BSM’s T-shirt.

Mckellar said he was inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” The back of the shirt will showcase a line from the song: ‘We gon’ be alright.’

“In the times we’re in right now, I wanted this shirt to be something y’all could remember for years to come. As simple as it may seem, we gon’ be alright,” he said.

Mckellar asked students to reflect on the phrase and define what unity means for each individual member.

“With killings going on, it’s something we have to tell ourselves,” he said. “It’s not just words. It’s something you can really stand behind.”

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