Ayana M. Rhodes
As the current president of the organization formally known as BSU, I decided to make a change and take us in a new direction. At first I didn’t know how to go about it. But I wanted to celebrate culture not color and I believed that “Black Student Union” was a description that lacked culture. I also believed that the phrase “Black student” was limiting the potential of the group and its ability to reach Non-African American students.
I decided that name Ujima would fit the group the best. The meaning of Ujima is “collective work and responsibility.” It is the third principle from the African-American celebration called Kwanzaa, which is celebrated each year from December 26 to January 1. Here at Alfred State, Ujima’s mission is to work to together to make things happen. I believe the change of name will bring change for the group and possibly the college. It will bring new meaning and new understanding of African-American Culture in general.
Therefore, it will not only educate but it will also celebrate the culture. It will also be more inviting, more inclusive. That is why the members of Ujima’s Board also agreed to the new change.