Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Dominique Martinez-Powell | dmartinez_powell.photography
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BAC Ebony Ball Week seeks to educate and empower

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Dominique Martinez-Powell
Jakayla Sherrod, Bella Musselman, Naomi Greer, KaMahri Scott wait as the other 2024 Ebony Ball Court contestants to be announced at the 3rd annual Ebony Ball. Naomi Greer won Miss. BAC Senior and KaMahri Scott won Miss. BAC freshman.

 

The Black Affairs Council (BAC), a student-led organization dedicated to promoting the culture and history of the African diaspora, recently hosted a Spirit Week from March 18-22. The week-long event was a way to kick off their highly-anticipated 3rd Annual Ebony Ball: In This Moment, which was held on March 23.

 

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Spirit Week was a big hit among students who enjoyed a multitude of activities and events that reflected the strong bond they shared with their community. From the fun-filled Slime A Saluki event on March 18 to the Black Women’s Brunch named ‘Diamonds And Denim’ on March 20, there was something for everyone to enjoy during this week.

 

Traseanda Jones, coordinator of finance and one of the main organizers for Diamonds And Denim, said the theme is named Diamonds and Denim because  “diamonds are formed under pressure and it’s showing the resilience and strength of black women.”

 

Jones and Talaya Keith were the organizers of the Black Women’s Brunch Event. It provided a safe space for black women to share their voices and experiences. The two aimed to promote understanding and support for the unique struggles that black women face in college. Many students who attend the event said it is truly inspiring to see such powerful and empowering events being organized by individuals who care about the well-being of their community.

 

Jones and Keith had also made arrangements to attend The Big Event on March 22 but plans were rearranged. 

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The President of the Black Affairs Council, Sarah Alli-Brown said, “We were supposed to have a private event where we went up to the high school, and we essentially had a panel for the students, but the students did testing that day, so we had to reschedule, and that’s rescheduled from April 29, so we’re still going to do the event.” 

 

The highlight of the week was the 3rd Annual Ebony Ball: In This Moment. The event was a glamorous affair that brought together students, alumni and community members to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the Black community. The night was filled with music, dancing and food.

 

“We’re the only college I know that does something similar to the Ebony Ball. The founder of the Ebony Ball, she created it because a lot of students did not have a prom that year and this was  a way to reach students and for students to come out and actually celebrate themselves and also have a good time,” Alli-Brown said. “I’m not sure if other schools do it, but I know that we do it the best.”

 

This was the third year BAC held the event, and many first-time guests agreed that it was a great experience and would recommend it to others.

 

“This year’s theme for the Ebony Ball was called In This Moment. We chose that theme because we want to encourage students to live in the moment and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. We often recognize that as black college students at a predominantly white institution, it’s hard to seize the moment and connect with the people that were around in our environment,” Alli-Brown said. 

 

She said she wanted to “create a space to build relationships” for Black students undergoing life’s academic pressures.

 

“We make it easy to handle our beauty and uniqueness. The event just reminds us that despite the challenges and the things that we go through we can still be full of joy and there’s a meaning behind everything that we go through,” Alli-Brown said.


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