Serving as a professional Registered Student Organization, the Black Leaders Aspiring for Critical Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) seek to unify young black people with other cultures, on the Ferris State University campus, through the promotion of academic excellence.
Rodney Williamson, the RSO president, elaborated on this group and shared that they try to “reach outside of Ferris State University and try to collaborate with different RSO’s at other universities [to gain] other outlooks on life and branch out” of their culture.
The RSO currently has 15 members: 10 men and a council of five women. The council of women is separate from the 10 men. They run their events on campus, but still offer advice, assistance, and a woman’s outlook to the men in the RSO.
Williamson said that men do critical knowledge events, and try to bring awareness to some of the things going on in the world, such as different health awareness events and social events.
The B.L.A.C.K. RSO, has a goal to double their group size to 30 members, allowing everyone to learn and grow alongside each other.
Ashley Jordan, one of the five women members of this RSO, shared that last semester, the council of women “hosted a Title IX event discussing rape, sexual harassment, and things of that nature.” Although the topics from this event were heavy, she shared they got the opportunity to lighten the situation and had a great turnout. They are planning events which will benefit the community for this semester as well.
The council of women does not have the same leadership hierarchy as the men do; they operate more like a democracy to connect cultures and to unify the campus.
“There can only be five women in the B.L.A.C.K. RSO because the organization is supposed to be run by a black man,” Jordan stated. A black man initially started the group and the RSO wants to keep this tradition going.
Williamson said that his favorite part of this RSO is the brotherhood which came along with it and that everyone is open to learning from the mistakes they make.
If given a chance, Williamson would join this RSO all over again, and it means everything to him.
Jordan’s favorite thing about being involved in this RSO, more specifically the women’s council, is that she gets to “network with different people and different organizations” that she wouldn’t have been able to, had she not joined.
Students who are interested in joining the B.L.A.C.K. RSO can reach out to any member of the group, and they will provide more information. Flyers are posted in residence halls and around campus, helping to spread information to individuals who might be unfamiliar with this group.
B.L.A.C.K. meets weekly on Thursday 11 a.m. FLITE 438.