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‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’ -James Baldwin


It is with boggled minds, heavy hearts, and exhausted spirits that we stand in front of the world once again to fight for existence. As the United States and the world become more aware of the stark injustices taking place, we as the Black/African-American graduate community are becoming desensitized and numb. We recognize that what appear to be national tragedies to some are daily occurrences for others. We have elected to pursue higher education in the academy and professional schools with the hopes of transcending the historical burden we cannot control, to create a transformative future. We support community efforts, we contribute to academia, we create and maintain organizations and efforts, we extend and invite and participate and give. Yet, we feel overlooked, we feel overwhelmed, and we have once again been called on to respond to the alarming wail, ‘Our Lives Matter.’


The global impact of COVID-19 is most evident in communities of color. While this illness has a higher chance of impacting those with pre-existing conditions or the elderly, it is but another instance of the medical, economic, social, and political disparity experienced by GENERATIONS of Black/African-Americans and immigrants alike. It is no surprise that Black/African-American and Latinx communities are overwhelmingly affected by a medical illness. This is similarly the case in almost every aspect of American life.


In the midst of navigating a global pandemic, we were once again reminded that police brutality has not only not subsided, but is now more recorded and publicized than ever. As hard as it is to believe, the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests reached parts of the United States and the world that were not previously aware of the continued, blatant forms of racism that Black/African-Americans in particular suffered. 


As graduate students, most are tasked at some point with teaching undergraduate classes, and we temporarily teeter simultaneously between adjunct/faculty and graduate student/pupil, while some of us are unable to maintain basic necessities. More than most on campus, we completely understand the complexities of race and identity, and how those realities further complexify in the context of the academy. We say this to say that we support both undergraduate students as well as faculty/staff, but we feel we as a Black/African-American graduate community have been forgotten. We fight not only for our rights, but for the recognition and rights of DACA students, of immigrant students, of those children locked in detention camps separate from their parents. If one of us is treated unjust, we are all suffering.


In this time of crisis and uncertainty, while we appreciate the University’s attempt to respond via a formal statement regarding recent events, however we look to the University to truly take on the work needed to acknowledge, address, and dismantle unjust structures evident even within our own classrooms. We look to Loyola University Chicago to -- the members of its community most impacted by these events, those who are always most affected and least represented. We look to Loyola not to look to us, but to look for us, to address the needs, concerns, issues and obstacles that impede equal acknowledgement. We look to Loyola for action, concrete structural changes attached to measurable goals including:

  • Loyola Campus Safety to temporarily suspend affiliation with Chicago Police Department and re-evaluate their relationship regarding past complaints unresolved

  • Transparent repercussions for faculty, staff, and students who impose discrimination, prejudice, or racist actions towards Loyola community members

  • Clarification on the resources within each school provided to all graduate and professional students

  • Increased wellness resources tailored to African American/Black graduate and professional students

  • Emergency funds and resources with reasonable criteria specific to graduate and professional students

  • Flexibility with online assignments amidst COVID-19 and civil unrest

  • A university strategic plan published by the start of Fall 2020 detailing the efforts to improve the experience and support for Black students with goal timelines, specific initiatives, and a procedure to ensure all aspects of the plan are met in a timely manner

‘I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.’ - Angela Davis

On behalf of the Black Graduate community, Loyola University Chicago Black Graduate Student Alliance



This newsletter will be published monthly. If you are interested in sharing information through the BGSA newsletter, please send all inquiries to bgsa@luc.edu


BGSA Newsletter Vol 1, Issue 2


Message from The President


Hello Family!

It was such a pleasure to meet so many of you at our first two events! With the school year in full swing, it is so good to be building community with you all. Your feedback and love are integral to the work that we do. Keep it coming! One of our biggest goals this year is to make sure black graduate students across all LUC campuses are connected and supported. Please continue to connect your peers to our organization by sending them the link to our email list.


Below is information about upcoming events, a new exec board member, and ways for you to get involved in the work we do! I hope to meet more of you soon.

Peace and Blessings

Janese Nolan 


Upcoming BGSA Events


October Community Meeting

Getting to The Bag: 

Marketing Yourself to Get the Most Out of Your Degree

Friday, October 11, 2019

6pm – 7:30pm

Lewis Tower Room 601 (WTC)

Join us for a professional development workshop aimed at helping you with job hunting during and after graduate school. Learn how to craft your resume/CV to make yourself more marketable and how to make the job search process work for you. All graduate students are welcome. Snacks and wine will be provided.

RSVP Link: https://forms.gle/h9UbTRRGZ1zkxKwn7

Please see the "Events" page for more info!


Black Grad Study Group

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

6pm – 8pm

Lewis library, multipurpose room 900 (WTC)

RSVP Link: https://forms.gle/h9UbTRRGZ1zkxKwn7

Please see the "Events" page for more info!

BGSA Email List

The BGSA email list is one of the best ways to keep up with events and resources that can be valuable to LUC’s black student population. If you know any black graduate student who is interested in receiving BGSA communications, please send them to the attached link and have them sign up. https://forms.gle/Wr6NExAfZXZn2MkR9

We are also on social media!!!! Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LUC_BGSA or join our Facebook group at Loyola University Chicago BGSA. 


New Exec Board Member


Sondrea Singleton 

Events Co-Chair

Sondrea Singleton is a 2nd year Masters student in Cultural and Educational Policies Studies (CEPS).  She holds a BA from Northeastern Illinois University in Sociology. Sondrea currently serves as the Program Coordinator for a non-for profit that provides resources to youth who are at-risk of aging out of foster care. Before coming to LUC, Sondrea was a pre-school teacher at a school in the West Loop. In her free time, Sondrea enjoys watching old episodes of Girlfriends, travelling, and reading beauty and fashion beauty blogs. Sondrea's goal as the co-events chair is to ensure that Black Graduate students at LUC are afforded the luxury of experiencing events that acknowledge, embrace, and promotes the prosperity of their identities at LUC.


Black Lives Matter Conference

Seeking Board Members for BLM Conference

Loyola’s Black Lives Matter Conference is excited to be recruiting board members for the 4th annual conference! The mission of #BLMLUC is to bring people together to raise consciousness, empower people, promote healing and form solidarity. Being a Board Member for the Black Lives Matter Conference is important work! You have the task of overseeing one of the four committees (Marketing, Community Engagement, Workshops, L/R) and ensuring that the conference runs smoothly. The role of a board member will require a voluntary commitment to the conference in the form of time and energy. It will also provide members with an amazing service and leadership opportunity! Please fill out the application by Wednesday, October 9th. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email abeltran1@luc.edu or blmloyolaconf@gmail.com.


Membership Feedback Survey

We want to make sure that our programming fits the needs of the actual Black Graduate Students at LUC. Please take 5 minutes to complete the following survey and make your voices heard and help us to better serve you.

Click HERE for the survey

© 2019 by BGSA

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