Black Student Union honored with Student Activist Award

Black Student Union’s 2020 Summer Work Group, a group of about 15 Milwaukee native Marquette students who convened last summer to organize against racial injustice, has been honored with the “2021 Student Activist Award” from the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

BSU is the recent coming together of Marquette’s Black Student Council, African Student Association and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapters. BSU provides a space for Black students and student groups to unite, celebrate multiculturalism, and bring cultural and social awareness around issues of race and racism through advocacy, service and community.

Students in the work group spent last summer organizing for Black liberation by strategizing how they can work with Marquette’s leadership to provide more support for Black students on campus.

Each year the Student Activist Award is presented to students in Wisconsin who have had “an outstanding contribution to activism related to peace and justice issues and demonstrated commitment to peace and justice issues through participation in activism either on the home campus or in the larger community.”

The Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (WIPCS), of which Marquette is a member, is a group of private and public colleges and universities that aim to spread awareness on the issues of peace and conflict. The institute is known as a valuable resource for institutions looking to internationalize and globalize their curricula and co-curricular programs. WIPCS encourages debate on such topics as foreign policy issues, areas of conflict, intercultural communication, and gender relations.

BSU was recognized at a virtual event, “The Transformative Power of Student-Activists,” hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies on Thursday, April 22.

Parisa Mahdavi Shirazi, program associate for Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking, nominated BSU because of their collaborative action steps to increase the diversity of the student body, improve the experiences of Black students, further involve the Black Student Council in the decision-making process at Marquette and assist Black students in achieving academic success at Marquette.