Black Active Minds recently hosted its annual event, the Miss PHAT Pageant (Pretty, Hot
and Thick), showing the beauty in diversity among the women on our campus. BAM offers
students the opportunity to not only share their ideas and values by providing wellness
and establishing community connections, but also by working to unite everyone.
BAM is highly involved on campus, and avidly dedicates itself to its members and serving
the local community.
Lakisha Forde, president of BAM, has been with the organization since her freshman year
at Buffalo State and has been president since the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic
"BAM is not just for the Buffalo State campus community, but for anyone who wants to
participate," Forde said. "It's not just for African Americans either, but for anyone who
wants to aid for the greater good of our society."
Forde said that BAM encompasses everything that a student at Buffalo State would look for,
whether social, cultural or academic.
"We are not just an organization, but we build ourselves as a family," she said. "We make a
difference because not only do we sit around and discuss topics, but we also go out and do
things for the community such as volunteering at refugee camps and social events such as
BAM hosts annual events such as Words and Lyrics, which was hosted in collaboration with
the Brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, The Cyph-Rap Appreciation, which
will be held in collaboration with Tha Ink Club, and its End of the Year Banquet which will
be held in early May.
In addition, BAM also engages in annual projects such as their monthly service to Refugee
safe-haven VIVE La Casa, Polar Plunge and Campus Clean Up.
Janie Williams, vice president of the organization, said BAM represents every person who
has ever been discriminated against for any reason, whether it's age, race, nationality,
creed, gender, orientation, class, style or any other category.
"BAM is an organization that highlights and tackles issues that many organizations are
scared to address," she said. "We do not discriminate against anyone and are extremely
open-minded. We manage to make educating each other an enjoyable experience."
Williams was elected last May but officially started her duties as vice president this past
September. Since being a member of BAM, she said she's had many memorable experiences
with the organization she now considers family.
"Most of our moments are memorable," Williams said. "But if I had to decide on one to
highlight, it would certainly be the Polar Plunge. Only I actually dove into the water, but my
whole e-board was there to support me when I got out of the -20 degree water, and that
was pretty epic."
BAM held their final general interest meeting yesterday, discussing relationships and the
many aspects that may be involved in one, such as trust issues. They also covered topics
that ranged from interracial relationships to domestic violence.
Sidoney Flowers, treasurer of BAM said that through the organization students can
collectively express unity and strength.
"We work to stress the principles of self-determination and self-awareness," she
said. "Students should become a member of BAM because they should join an organization
in which they are able to voice their opinions and not be disregarded or ridiculed."
Janiel Thomas can be reached by email at email@example.com.