Black Action Society Speaker Panel
Although their campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to Pitt's Black Action Society, you can always do so here.
The History of the Black Action Society
On May 19, 1968, a number of demands were presented to the administration of the University of Pittsburgh. These demands were presented by a newly formed group of black people, which represented the larger aims of black people throughout community of Pittsburgh. This group named themselves the Black Action Society and their demands were expressed as the “Voice of the Black Community,” which coincidently happened to be black people pursuing an education at the University of Pittsburgh.
The demands were that:
- a recruiting team be employed by the University to specifically attract black students;
- the true role of the black man in history be incorporated into the history courses now being taught at the University;
- the number of black faculty be increased and the present members elevated in stature, and that prospective black professors be interviewed by the Black Action Society prior to hiring and that our opinion be one of the determining factors in the final decision of hiring; and
- a Black Studies program, which would be staffed and directed by black scholars in its entirety, be instituted immediately at the University. This program would have the same status as a department but would be interdepartmental in nature.
Then, on January 16, 1969, 48 students took over the Cathedral of Learning computer room and locked themselves inside. The group reiterated the list of demands to then-President of the University Wesley Posvar and insisted they be met. Afterwards, the University officially recognized the Black Action Society as an organization.
What We Do Now
Today, BAS exists to continue working toward the original goals laid down at the foundation of the organization, keeping current issues and constituency in mind. We serve as a group that advocates not only for black students at the University of Pittsburgh, but for all minority groups. In the past, we have brought prominent speakers to campus such as Michael Eric Dyson and Nikki Giovanni. We also created our own Black Homecoming Pageant to recognize top students in our community. We strive to create programming that brings the student body together to embrace diversity in all aspects.
Why We Need Your Help
For our upcoming spring semester, we would like to hold a speaker panel. However, due to a lack of funding, it has become difficult to pursue this initiative . If you could make even the smallest donation to help us achieve our goal, the Black Action Society would be able to continue to better the Pitt community as a whole.
Our Executive Board
Genevieve is a junior Biology major with a minor in Africana Studies. She is currently the president of the Black Action Society, a resident assistant of a multicultural living learning community, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Mu Chapter’s financial secretary.
Kamari is a Film Studies and Anthropology double major from Baldwin, NY. In addition to being the vice president of the Black Action Society, she is the vice president of the Theta Nu chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Gabrielle is a junior Communications major. She serves as the Black Action Society's executive assistant, a peer facilitator for the Emerging Leaders Program, and a member of Blue and Gold Society.
Originally from Bowie, MD, Dejah is a junior Political Science and English Writing double major on the pre-law track. Presently acting as the Black Action Society's executive secretary, she has been apart of Black Action Society since 2012 and is honored to be apart of an organization that represents a cause larger than herself.
Erin is a junior Biology major from Monroeville, PA. She is the financial secretary of the Black Action Society and works on campus at the Petersen Events Center.
Website: http://baspitt1968.wix.com/blackactionsociety Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pitt.bas Twitter: https://twitter.com/pittbas Instagram: http://instagram.com/pittbas