During this time, they decided that their senior-year campus transformation project would be centered on educating the Ithaca College community on racial justice issues while uplifting Black individuals and the Black Lives Matter movement. In their grant proposal, the scholars stated that they wanted to create an “opportunity for students and community members to engage further with the issues and dialogues around racial justice and to learn how to best contribute to justice in our Ithaca community.”
“Our hope is to uplift the Black community, Black folks, Black businesses, and honestly to support all communities of color in whatever way we can,” said Carolina Jeronimo ’21. “We want to help and connect as many people as we can through this program and educate ourselves and others on the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The cohort has several initiatives lined up to further this goal. Throughout the month of December, they’re highlighting local Black-owned businesses via Instagram and giving away coupons and gift cards. Future events include virtual guest speakers, workshops centered on the topic of food insecurity and food deserts and a May graduation celebration for Black seniors, held in collaboration with the college’s Center for IDEAS.
The events reflect the collaborative nature of the students involved.
“We spent a lot of time really getting to know each other, building our skills individually and as a cohort, and figuring out what we were all collectively passionate about,” said Paula Rodriguez ’21.