A month after the first day of class in Columbia, two black student organizations and one student blogger at the University of Missouri threw an event to help freshmen fit in to their new student life on campus. Around 80 people, including organizers and older students, attended the "Black @ Mizzou" meeting in the Black Culture Centre.
They talked about issues like time management, academics, reputation on social media, clothes and food, haircuts… and how being black may impact this routine. During the two hour event, the audience was encouraged to tell personal stories and voice concerns.
One of the speakers was
Alexis Ditaway, a junior student from Memphis who created the blog the Meditated Melanin to empower women of color and relate to other women. To her, campus was a "cultural shock".
"I remember my freshman year and fall semester, going into many of my lectures or classes and being one or two black students... I never felt I was a minority. This was the first time I realized I am a minority in this country, because I come from a place where literally everyone, all my teachers, administrators, friends, colleagues looked like me," Ditaway said.
She said being able to meet older students and seeing them thrive at school helped her feel confident.
"It’s evolution", Sean Adams said talking about the transition from high school to campus which can be "scary".
He is a student member of the executive board of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity which co-organizes this annual meeting.
"Teaching the next generations about everything we learnt so that they can apply that and learn more to teach future generations," Adams said.
The second part of event will take place next week and will focus on masculinity and femininity on campus.