As you know, February is Black History Month. Historically, most acknowledge and celebrate the lives, the legacies, and the contributions made to society by African Americans in the past. However, this year, we wanted to recognize those who are doing things NOW to carry on the legacies and contributions of those who came before them.
We partnered with BWEI (Black Women’s Empowerment Initiative), an organization dedicated to promoting, maintaining, and advancing the well-being of Black Women at LSU. With their help, we selected four (4) students within their organization that consistently go above and beyond and are passionate about doing great things within their community. Because at Dudley DeBosier, that’s a priority!
After speaking with the four incredibly impressive young female scholars, we were thrilled to offer these “Difference Makers” a $500 scholarship to aid in their education. We also highlighted each student on our sponsored radio segment, TanTalk, with LaTangela on 94.1.
Our hope is that we were able to play a small role in empowering them to do even more good in our community. To learn more about the incredible women selected, see below.
Alaysia is a graduating senior, with a major in Mass Communication-Political Communication and a minor in Liberal Arts-African & African American Studies. Throughout her matriculation at LSU, Alaysia Johnson has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who feel they have no voice while also working part-time and striving for academic excellence. She has built a lasting legacy at Louisiana State University by spearheading programs and initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of students. As the inaugural chair of the Black Women’s Empowerment Initiative, Alaysia engaged in several discussions with university administration about making LSU a more inclusive and safe campus for underrepresented students and especially black women. Under Alaysia’s leadership BWEI received the 2020 New Student Organization of the Year” Love Purple Live Gold Award. Following graduation in May 2021, Alaysia plans to attend Law School to pursue a legal career in civil rights.
Maya Stevenson is a graduating senior, with a major in English and Philosophy, and minor in Leadership Development. Grounded in a “lift as she climbs” approach, Maya has distinguished herself as a highly effective student leader and change agent who has balanced maintaining a full course load, leadership in student organizations, community service and working part-time. With a keen ability to mobilize others and outstanding logistical/planning skills, Maya was the 2020 recipient of the “Emerging Leader” Multicultural Excellence Award. Maya has served ast the Event Chair of BWEI and organized their very first large scale event, Nubian Made, which won the “New Initiative” Multicultural Excellence Award. Maya booked an exceptional ensemble of panelists, including black business owners, a member of the mayor’s team and Miss Louisiana. She is most proud of her work as President of Tigers Against Trafficking, and is primarily motivated by her faith and belief that justice is an inalienable right owed to everyone. Following graduation in May 2021, Maya will further her education and attend Law School.
Callia is a graduating senior majoring in Nutrition and Food Science with concentration in Dietetics. Callia became passionate about nutrition through her volunteer efforts with food pantries and community health programs, beginning in the 5th grade. Callia Cox excelled as a leader by establishing partnerships between the Black Women’s Empowerment Initiative, LSU alumni, the Mayor’s Office, Mary Byrd Perkins Breast Cancer Center, the Power Pump Girls, and Urgent Care Eleven. As the Community Outreach Chair of the organization, Callia has spearheaded many of BWEI’s community service projects. Callia will further her education by attending grad school to earn her Master’s Degree in Public Health and become a registered dietician.
Ololade, otherwise known as “Lola,” is currently a junior at LSU. She is dual-majoring in Biology and Chemical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Chemistry. Lola played an integral role in establishing the social media presence of the Black Women’s Empowerment Initiative. Under her leadership, the content shared extended beyond flyers about events and directly tackled issues faced by black women such as sexual and domestic violence. Lola hopes to graduate from LSU and Xavier with her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemical Engineering, and become a formulator or operations engineer in the cosmetic field.
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