On Thursday, Sept. 17, Kean's Pan-African Student Union (P.A.S.U.), along with the National Pan-Hellenic Council and National Council of Negro Women, Inc., held a virtual student panel, where participants had personal conversations about racial identities from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.
Diversity Speaks: The Black and Brown Experience provided students a way to have their voices heard on issues pertaining to ethnic disparities.
This open forum gave students the confidence to speak their hearts in a comfortable space where courage was welcomed and support was given. The Diversity Speaks platform has a goal of educating the community on diversity through a series of student-led discussions.
"We want to change Kean University for the better," said Malcom Moreira, president of P.A.S.U. "This event was needed to express our thoughts and feelings."
When asked about the event's turnout, Moreira was confident of the outcome.
"It turned out well. During this event, we made all the problems on campus well known. Our organization went through the problems, spoke about them with everyone giving their opinions," continued Moreira. "Our moderator mediated the discussion correctly by letting all participants express themselves freely."
Malcom gave a bit of insight on how the forum was put together.
"The Black and Brown Experience had so much planning. Taylor Williams came up with the idea," Moreira continued. "She helped us so much. Taylor is a professional and understands the experience that comes with being a person of color in her field. It gets difficult."
Moreira mentioned that President Lamont Repollet, Ed. D., the 18th leader of the university, stopped by.
"He spoke at the event by saying that he is doing his best to make the university as great as it was," said Moreira.
Kean P.A.S.U. is doing its due diligence by fortifying the university's title of the most diverse campus in the nation.
"Our organization is working to assist students of color on campus along with showcasing black excellence," Moreira mentioned. "Exposing the student body to our history, consisting of various cultures, lets them know that we are all connected."
Moreira feels such events such as The Black and Brown Experience is crucial to student development.
"Having these events that are based on our culture and history will help students of color understand where they're going," said Moreira.
The Pan-African Student Union is a cultural organization at Kean that unites all students of African descent with the knowledge of self by providing empowerment through its programs and events.