Campus Celebrates Black History Month

January 30, 2015

Sandy Lopes

We chatted with BSO President, Sandy Fonseca-Lopes '15, about the events happening for Black History Month!

What are you studying at Simmons?

I'm majoring in neuroscience and behavior and minoring in nutrition.

What made you choose your major?

I've always had a passion for the medical field and biology and psychology have been very interesting to me. After speaking to many neuroscience majors -- and seeing all the cool things that they can accomplish with the neuroscience major -- I decided to give it a try and ended up falling in love with it. With my neuroscience degree, I plan on becoming a Pediatric Physician Assistant.

What's your favorite thing about your program?

The variety of fun and interesting classes that are available. And the professors! They are always pleasant and so outgoing.

What made you decide to become BSO president? What's your favorite part of being president?

I've been a part of the Black Student Organization (BSO) since my first year. I started off as secretary of the organization. It's partly because of past BSO presidents that I've been so successful at Simmons. They took me under their wing and shared great knowledge on leadership. I've heard many concerns coming from the students of color throughout the years and as president, I felt that I was in a position to make changes and ensure that students of color on this campus feel comfortable and their voices are heard.

Is there a moment at Simmons that you could describe as your “Simmons moment”?

Getting fully funded for Dr. Angela Davis from the Student Finance Board was definitely my Simmons moment. Being at Simmons has taught me to be true to myself and follow my dreams. When I first presented this idea of having Angela Davis come to campus, I received some resistance but it didn't stop me from going down different avenues and using my resources. I pushed through and now, within a week, Angela Davis will be at Simmons.

How did you organize the Angela Davis event?

Having Angela Davis come to Simmons to deliver the keynote address for Black History Month started off as a big, wild, dream. My goal as president this year was to think big and so that's what I did. The theme for Black History Month this year is "We are, because they were." This means we are here and successful today because of the work that our ancestors have done. Angela Davis (or as I like to call her, the Queen) is an idol to me. I contacted five other organizations: CAB, Like Minds Coalition, Residential Housing Association, Amnesty International, and Students United for Justice to collaborate with BSO and they all agreed. From then on, we have been working hard to ensure that Simmons is blessed with the presence of Angela Davis

Why should students attend?

Angela Davis was part of the Black Panther Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. We are currently in a time where history is repeating itself. It's the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, but somehow, we are still facing the same issues of racial injustice. Angela Davis is a great fit and we couldn't think of anyone better to deliver the keynote. It's a time to come together and reflect on our activism work and how we can improve and help each other. It is a time for us to educate ourselves on the injustice that has been happening and it is a time for us to unite as one.

Why is it important that we celebrate Black History Month at Simmons?

Because we have a very rich history and students of color have made great impact on campus since 1914. It's a time for us to celebrate our roots and educate the Simmons community.

What are some ways students can get involved on campus for Black History Month?

We would love for all students to participate in Black History Month. Many students think that Black History Month and BSO is just for students of color but it's not! We encourage everyone to grab a calendar at our Cake Cutting and take note of the events. Flyers will also be posted on social media pages and posted around the school. Community Service opportunities will also be available. If any one would like to get involved, we encourage them to email for more information!

Below is a full listing of events for Black History Month.

BSO Cake Cutting: Monday, February 2nd, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Fens Lobby

Come celebrate with BSO as we welcome Black History Month with a cake cutting celebration!

Past, the Present, and the Ongoing: The Work of Dr. Angela Davis: Wednesday, February 4th,  5 - 7 p.m. Location TBA

Interested in learning about who Dr. Angela Davis is and what work she has done? Come join BSO, Like Minds, CAB, RHA, and Amnesty International as we explore the life of Angela Davis

Keynote Address: Dr. Angela Davis: Friday, February 6th,  5 - 6 p.m. Holmes Sports Center

Dr. Angela Davis will be on the Simmons campus on February 6th to give the Black History Month keynote address!

Ticket information

Cultural Fusion: Tuesday, February 10th, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Alumnae Hall

Come join the Black Student Organization and Organizacion Latina as we learn some hip hop moves, taught by MassArt student and dance instructor, Alecia Brown, and eat some yummy Latin food!

Alumni Jazz Brunch: Sunday, February 22nd, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. School of Management Room M501

Get your business cards out because it is time to network! The African American Alumni Association are cordially invited to attend our Jazz Brunch to mingle with current students of color at Simmons and exchange knowledge and information about their careers and life after Simmons

Call to Action Forum: Tuesday, February 24th, 5 - 7 p.m. Location TBA

We strongly encourage ALL Boston colleges and Universities to come together and discuss the recent events that have taken place in our communities and where to go from here; what actions that we should be taking! We will be having a guest speaker and a panelists of students and faculty/staff

COF Black History Month Celebration: Saturday, February 27th, 8 p.m. - 12 a.m. Pozen Center at MassArt

The Black Student Union/Organization of Simmons, Emmanuel, Wheelock, and MassArt will be ending Black History Month with a bang! Come party with us at MassArt’s Pozen Center