Open Mic for Black Lives Matter movement

The Blatigenous Club hosted a Black Lives Matter Open Mic event sponsored by the California African American Museum on Feb. 16.

Now in its third official semester, the Blatigenous Club’s panel consists of six students who are either mixed race, African-American, or Hispanic.

The event had 40 people in attendance that were interested in the club’s event.

The event was filled with current members showing videos, reciting poems, and rapping songs regarding Civil Rights and injustices minorities live with.

A video of guest speaker Shamell Bell was shown to those in attendance, although Bell herself was unable to attend the event due to a family emergency.

Jordan Rice recently joined the Blatigenous Club, and he’s is proud to spread the word of integration among other groups of people.

“I am proud to be part of this club,” Rice said. “I want my people to be heard and accepted”.

Public health major Rene Paredes has been a member of the Blatigenous Club since its inception in the summer of 2015. The club was created to work on a multi-racial coalition. The group focuses on diversity and giving a voice to the people who feel like they don’t have one.

“We are the voice of people of color and minorities. We’d like to have the public have an open mind and explore other things,” Paredes said.

At the same time, the club believes they are the voice of minorities. As such they want to be integrated with other people in other communities.

“We would like to grow, and become more of a campus name. We would like to be more of a community instead of just a club, and be integrated and work with other communities,” Paredes said.

The club, which has approximately 30 members, is looking to expand beyond the Pierce College campus.

Dr. James McKeever is the faculty advisor for the Blatigenous club. It is McKeever’s hope that the club can spread to other branches of Pierce.

“There are people who have been part of this club and have transferred to other schools, and are in the process of starting their own Blatigenous Clubs where they currently are. We were created to inform and educate people,” McKeever said.

The club has many goals and chose to not just allow a certain gender or race to be involved in their activities.

“You don’t have to be black, latino, or indigenous to join the club. But you do have to understand that we are working with the issues for students who are black or latino. We also focus on sexuality and gender. We are anti-sexism and anti-racism. We are always looking for allies to work with us,” McKeever said.

Second advisor of the Blatigenous Club, Dr. Julio Tsuha is proud of the club. His objective is to ensure the club’s growth.

“We focus on the main issues of minorities. We want to give self empowerment and effect the community in a positive way. We just ask that people would come in and listen with an open mind. We just would like to empower people and let them know that they have a voice,” Tsuha said.

The Blatigenous club will be having another Black Lives Matter event on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. to conclude Black History Month in the Great Hall.