A family that is passionate, giving, and engaged understands and knows Black Lives Matter at Illinois State.

The Black Colleagues Association (BCA) board of directors continues to work hard and effortlessly to embody its purpose, specifically to promote the interests and welfare of black students, faculty, staff, and alumni as well as provide student scholarships.

This past year, as a new board, we had growing pains and some challenges. However, we are family and our commonality, as members of BCA, is to take care of our constituents through visibility, networking, and financial assistance.

We accomplished this on a few levels. Relationships were reignited and new ones formed. This can be seen as many of you have personally met student leaders and university leaders such as President Larry Dietz, Vice President for Student Affairs Levester “LJ” Johnson, Vice President for University Advancement Pat Vickerman, Dean of Students John Davenport, Diversity Advocacy coordinator Hurdylyn Woods. We engaged in valuable discussions to bridge gaps, align in understanding and commit to support and promote the needs of black students and improve diversity issues.

Our Homecoming committee co-chairs, NaTasha Jones ’94 and Sasha Douyon ’04, boasted a record-high attendance for BCA Homecoming events and raised an excess of $6,500. Our scholarship committee awarded scholarships to 13 well-deserving and accomplished students. Our membership committee, headed by Sandra Kelly ’77, developed a plan to increase membership by 25 percent. Our programming and events committee is in the planning stages of BCA’s 20th anniversary celebration. We are working to engage black students by assisting in recruitment efforts with the Office of Admissions. To top it off, we will be working on our fundraising efforts to advance our scholarships and mentoring programs along with more networking opportunities.

To make all of this happen, BCA continues to need you. We need you to become a contributing member. We need you join a committee. We need you to share ideas and stories.

Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. Our condition and our agenda is for our alumni, faculty, staff, but also for the legacy of black students working to make black professionals matter at Illinois State and beyond.