GSU’s black community gathers to celebrate new semester

Black students, faculty, and staff met at the Russell Union Ballroom to find a shared community on campus.

“The purpose of [the Essence of Black Joy Reception] is for [African American] students to, one, kind of see students who look like them and two, to help them build community. To help them build a sense of belonging,” said the new assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Joleesa Johnson. “This event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and so making sure that we are present and available for students to know that this is where they can come for extra resources and mentoring and… maybe some advice or guidance.”

The Office of Multicultural Affairs has snacks for students who stop by as well as mentoring programs like Minority Advisement Program (MAP). Additionally, one of the directors of TRIO Student Support Services, Leslieann Harris, advertised her program and made herself known as a resource for students struggling on campus. 

“[The Essence of Black Joy Reception] was actually recommended to me by the Minority Advisement Program… I thought it would be really good to be able to connect to other students and get to know each other,” said a junior sociology major, Shekina Williams.

Some of the students who attended were freshmen looking to do the same thing and were welcomed with open arms.

“I’m trying to get more involved with campus life,” said freshman Trinitea Fullen, “I like [the reception], and I think it’s really cute!”