In late January, Walla Walla University’s Black Student Christian Forum club (BSCF) sponsored the travel expenses of two of its student leaders to participate in the first Black Adventist Student Association Leadership Summit, hosted by Loma Linda University. After being planned for over two years, the event brought together Black student associations from Adventist colleges throughout the West Coast to collaborate and share about their campus work.
Liberty Anderson, sophomore business marketing major and president of the BSCF club, began working with other Black student association leaders from Pacific Union College, La Sierra University, and Loma Linda University at the beginning of this year to plan the leadership summit and arrange the itinerary. Sponsored by the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC), the event was able to feature a number of keynote speakers to represent each campus, including Timothy Golden, WWU professor of philosophy, and Anderson.
Different segments of the conference included best practice sharing, informational sessions, community service, and discussion about what it means to be Black and what it means to make an impact. Anderson presented in the best practice sharing section, where she focused on what students care about on campus and the need for equity measures. She was also excited to share about popular BSCF events on WWU’s campus, including beginning and end of year barbecues, Jingle Jam, and Black History Month celebrations.
Anderson also highlighted the important work being done by BSCF to make the outdoors more accessible for people of color. According to Anderson, BSCF has recognized that many students have never had the opportunity or have faced barriers to participating in outdoor activities. The club’s annual camping trip, designed to create a safe space for students to experience the outdoors together, will take place this May.
Anderson is excited that the Black Adventist Student Association Leadership Summit will continue to be an annual event, and hopes to involve more students in the future. “My personal mission as a Black student leader is to make it easier for those who come after me,” said Anderson. “I want to have the difficult conversations and break the barriers so that our club and our people can thrive, and so that students of color can feel celebrated.”
Learn more about BSCF and other organizations on campus that support and celebrate diversity at wallawalla.edu/diversity.
Posted March 13, 2023