Black to School was an event held on the Chabot campus on Sept. 6 from noon to 1:30 p.m., located between buildings 700 and 800. The event provided insight into what Chabot offers African American students, whether it’s programs, organizations, or just services. The Black Education Association hosts a welcoming event for Black students at the start of each Fall semester to foster a sense of community and belonging.
There were games, free food, music, and a performer named T.O.A. (The Original Artist). Black to School was hosted and sponsored by LaKesha Stewart, the Coordinator for the Black Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) and Program Coordinator.
This event is the second time the up-and-coming rapper T.O.A. has performed on campus this semester. “I’m glad to be back here at Chabot L.J. The D.J. from KCRH invited me. It’s good to see new faces, maybe some new fans. I hope I get invited back again.” said T.O.A.
There are many organizations and programs that are mainly targeted to African American students to help them succeed, such as Umoja, Striving Black Brothers Coalition (SBBC), and the Black Cultural Resource Center. There were even programs targeted to any student on campus, such as Restorative Integrated Self Education (RISE), Cal Fresh, and TRIO Aspire.
“I’m glad to be here. I want people to continue having fun. I want to thank everyone who put the time and effort into making this event happen. Hopefully, this will be an annual event,” said newly elected President Dr. Jamal Cooks, who attended the event.
Some African American students are not aware of the programs and services that are for their culture.
“I’m glad to see Black people here today organizing and bringing something positive for the African American students such as myself at Chabot. I didn’t know anything about Umoja, or SBBC. I want to see more events like this on campus,” said Chabot student Treyvon Campbell.
Along with food and music, there were games such as Chess, Scrabble, Jenga, a huge Connect Four set, and a Double Dutch game that caught the eyes of many attendees.
Ms. Stewart had this to say about Black to School, “I want to welcome our students back on campus. I hope they learn about the Black Cultural Resource Center here on campus. The center is for black students but open to all. I would like our Black and non-Black students to be able to access the space to learn about Black Culture and engage with fellow black students,” said Stewart.
Along with programs, services, games, food, and music, there was also an African American entrepreneur. Marvin Thompson III selling T-shirts with bible quotes under his Throne Vision Clothing brand and other clothing items.
“I’m showcasing my Throne Vision Clothing brand at Chabot at LeKesha’s invitation. I want to spread positivity, inspire people to embrace royalty and Christ’s vision, and encourage students from all backgrounds. It’s great to see the support for my clothing line and be part of this event,” Thomas said.
This event started from the idea at the BEA, Black Education Association, to welcome back our Black students at the beginning of each new Fall semester. The event started in 2007.