Empowering Black Students:

A Look at the History and Impact of Black Student Unions with a Spotlight on West Virginia’s Leaders

Black Student Unions (BSUs) are student-led organizations that advocate for the rights and interests of Black students on college and university campuses. These unions emerged during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s when students demanded greater representation and a voice in decisions affecting their education.

The first BSU was founded in 1966 at San Francisco State University and quickly spread to other campuses nationwide. Today, BSUs can be found at colleges and universities throughout the United States, including West Virginia.

West Virginia has a rich history of student activism, particularly in civil rights. In 1968, the West Virginia University (WVU) BSU was founded, becoming one of the first in the state. Since then, BSUs have been established at colleges and universities across West Virginia, including Marshall University, Sonda Stewart, President; WVU Tech, Josiah Baker, President; West Virginia University, Dayna Pratt, Vice President; and Shepherd University. (Please let BBG know if your re school has a BSU)

Today, many talented and dedicated Black student union presidents in West Virginia and from West Virginia are working tirelessly to advocate for the needs of Black students on their campuses. One newly elected BSU President is Aiden Satterfield, a native of West Virginia who was recently elected as the new president of the Walsh University BSU.

Satterfield, who grew up in Charleston, W.Va, is a sophomore at Walsh University, majoring in cyber security.

As the new president of the Walsh University BSU, Satterfield has pledged to work towards greater equity and inclusion on campus, particularly for Black students. He plans to do this by collaborating with other student organizations and engaging in conversations with university administrators.

Satterfield, above, left, is not alone in his efforts. Many other Black student union presidents in West Virginia and with WV roots are working to create a more just and equitable campus environment. These individuals are advocating for changes such as increased funding for Black student organizations, greater diversity among faculty and staff, and more resources to support Black students academically and socially.

Despite their challenges, Black student union presidents remain committed to their cause. They understand the importance of their work in creating a more inclusive and equitable campus environment for Black students, and they are determined to make a difference.

The history of Black student unions is a testament to the power of student activism and the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America. Today, Black student union presidents in West Virginia and across the country continue this legacy, fighting for the rights and interests of Black students on their campuses. BBG commends their dedication and commitment to this important work. We give a special shoutout to Aiden Satterfield and all the other Black student union presidents in West Virginia for their tireless efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive campus environment.

Learn more:

VIDEO https://youtu.be/l6-DNcchOlI

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