BUS Celebrates 41st Annual Ebony Achievement Awards


The Ebony Achievement Awards ceremony recognizes the new 2017-2018 Black United Students Executive Board on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Olivia Williams

Black United Students (BUS) hosted their 41st annual Ebony Achievement Awards Thursday night. Asantewa Sunni-Ali, the director of Pan African Culture, spoke during the awards and told students and guests that achievement is a holistic process. She stressed that success comes when you take care of your body.

“Think about your mind, body, and spirit and how those all work together to help you achieve maximum success,” Sunni-Ali said. “That success can lead to sustainable growth  growth that can be shared within the communities that we belong to.”

The Ebony Achievement Awards is an event for Kent State’s black community to come together in celebrating faculty, students and organizations for their contributions.

As the director of academic affairs for BUS, senior digital media production major Amber Bishop was in charge of putting together this year’s Ebony Achievement Awards.

Bishop said the event was important to her because she felt that a lot of the black community’s contributions and hard work go unnoticed because Kent State is a predominately white institution. She said year after year this event has been a way to tell the black students, organizations and faculty members that they are seen.

“Sometimes it is very hard for us to stay here and maintain good grades because of the things we experience on campus such as racism; feeling left out in the classroom is kind of hard,” Bishop said. “We just want to use this event as a way to shout each other out and validate each other.”

Throughout the event, nominees were awarded trophies for the areas that their peers thought they were successful in this school year.

Among the students who received awards was Emanuel Jackson, a junior public relations major. He was recognized for being “most involved” and the “life of the party.” Jackson has been involved with BUS for three years and has contributed to other black organizations on campus such as Exquisite, Modista and Focus On the Future (FOF).

“I am always showing my face around campus and looking for ways to get involved,” Jackson said. “I am constantly looking for ways for my efforts to be of service towards others.”

Jackson said that he was surprised to receive the “life of the party” award.

“I fight hard for the black community, and I show love to anyone,” he said. “I just have a loving spirit and a bubbly spirit, and I think that is what makes me the life of the party”.

BUS recognized Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. as the organization of the year. President Courtney Tate, a junior public health major, accepted the award on behalf of her organization. Tate said she believes her organization won because of the chapter’s involvement, not only in their organization, but also in the community. She said that Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. strives to make connections and build bonds with its peers.

“It’s about taking the extra step to serve, engage and inspire others,” Tate said. “We are truly humbled to be recognized for our work and plan to continue this in the future”.

As the awards concluded, BUS swore in their new executive board for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic school year.

Newly appointed president of BUS, Aniya Dunbar, closed the awards by thanking everyone for their support and challenging the black community to go out of their way to say “hi” to each other when they see a familiar face on campus. She said she plans to switch things up within the organization and to get more people involved and interested.

Olivia Williams is the African-American student life reporter, contact her at [email protected].