Fordham Clubs Celebrate Black History Month With BIPOC Mixer

BSA, MSA, Prism and SOL came together to provide BIPOC students with a memorable night



Students who attended the mixer had a fun night of dancing and enjoying food. The event aimed at creating a safe space for students to celebrate their identities.


In celebration of Black History Month (BHM), students gathered for the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) mixer on Friday, Feb. 11 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in G76. The room was lit up with black, green and red lights. Students enjoyed food and danced to music while coloring books and trivia cards for BHM-adorned tables. To cap off the night, a trivia competition and raffle were held.

The mixer, organized by the Black Student Alliance (BSA), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Prism and Student Organization of Latinx (SOL) aimed to give students the chance to commemorate BHM in a safe, inclusive environment. 

Jaron Givens, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’25, said that the night was also about celebrating Black excellence. 

“Everyone was dancing, having fun. It is just to celebrate who we are as Black, African Americans.” Jaron Givens, FCLC ’25

“I wanted to come and collaborate with my peers to create a great night. BSA and everyone who planned and organized this event did an amazing job. Everyone was dancing, having fun. It is just to celebrate who we are as Black, African Americans,” Givens said.

For the leaders of these student organizations, there was a lot at stake. BSA President Chanelle Dortch, FCLC ’23, said that the event is important because it brings “some sort of solidarity amongst Fordham students.” 

Dortch also stated that the event is important this year, as it is the first time since 2020 that BHM has been celebrated in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We just came back from a really tough year, so for this to be the first Black History Month in a little bit that is in-person, together and loud, that is really special, especially when there are so many students that missed out on that,” she said.

Club leaders also wanted to create a safe space for students to express themselves and celebrate their heritage and identity.

“Especially being in a PWI (predominantly white institution), not many of us in the minority groups (have) much of a space here or feel comfortable. This is just one event where we can come together, have fun, eat food and dance,” Annabel Filpo, FCLC ’23 and SOL event planner, said.

SOL Public Relations Representative Selina Rodriguez, transfer student and FCLC ’22, said that the event meant a lot to her, as at her previous school there was no representation for students of color.

“Having things like this is so important to me because I finally get to see people like me and come together.” Selina Rodriguez, FCLC ’22

“Having things like this is so important to me because I finally get to see people like me and come together,” Rodriguez said.

While the event primarily celebrated BHM, the club leaders sought to integrate and celebrate other minority cultures. 

“There’s Blackness in a lot of communities, and it’s not just America. We Latinos have a lot of Afro-Latinos, but that’s not always something that is considered part of ‘Latino’ or that is talked about that way, so it’s also important to acknowledge the communities within our communities and all that interconnectedness everywhere,” SOL President Laura Vasquez, FCLC ’22, said.

students chatting at the bipoc mixer
Many students attended the event hosted by a group of FLC cultural clubs. (ALYSSA DAUGHDRILL)

Club leaders were able to move forward with the mixer even though there were some difficulties with planning because of the appearance of the omicron variant and new restrictions from Fordham.

“It was almost emotional in a sense because we worked so hard to put on this event and there were a lot of ups and downs for sure, especially when COVID picked up again,” Kiya Brown, FCLC ’23 and BSA director of public relations, said. “So we were like, ‘OK, how are we going to do this in a way that can still be fun for everyone?’”

Nevertheless, Prism President Adah Unachukwu, FCLC ’23, said the event was a reminder of the strength and importance of the BIPOC community. 

“I think especially because of the pandemic everything felt really isolated. Having this event is like, ‘Oh, we are still here. We are all still here,’” they said.