Club Feature: MSU Equality
As February marks Black History Month, MSU Equality President Joshua Strong shares why this is an important month to acknowledge.
“It’s an annual celebration of achievements of African American and Black Americans and recognition for their role in US history,” said Strong. “It’s origin comes from Negro History Week, becoming an official renamed month in 1976.
“Some individuals argue that celebrating Black History Month is racist in its own nature. They are entitled to their opinions, so I do not deem it a misunderstanding, but it is a current debate. All I can do as a biracial man is hope people educate themselves and at the very least show me and all Black people respect.”
After the death of George Floyd and the nationwide-protests against racial injustices in 2020, Strong and Giovanna Hamilton decided it was time to create a club that represented voices of underrepresented groups on campus.
“Our mission is to promote an acknowledgment and understanding of social, political, and economic inequalities; to provide a safe space for Minot State students to voice their experiences, ideas, questions, and uncertainties; and to enact equality, inclusivity, and justice within our community,” Strong said.
Strong also clarified some misunderstandings of the club by saying that it is not just of club for Black students, but that it is open to everyone.
“We don’t have a joining process. This is an open-door club, students can attend our meetings and get involved at their own will and availability,” said Strong. “We don’t have any requirements or fees; we are a community, although we have an elected executive board of student leaders who are held to a standard and accountability.
“ We are here to stand up against injustices and discrimination towards any student regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, non-binary, sexual orientation, religion, or anyone far and between.”
Despite COVID-19 restricting what the club can do to celebrate Black History Month, Strong explained that the club is still planning on sharing resources with its members on learning more about racial injustices.
“I believe celebrating Black History Month can look different to any individual,” said Strong. “I don’t think it is my, nor anyone’s, responsibility to tell people what to do. All we can do as a club is provide resources. We are collecting more resources to share on our social media. Any educational site with an .edu or .gov is a good place to start.”
The MSU Equality meets on the first and third Monday at 6:30 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. For more information, contact Strong at email@example.com.