Taking a concrete step to foster a sense of belonging and a space of connection for the Black student body, with an atmosphere that prioritizes the well-being of the Black student population at Loyola Marymount University, the Black Student Space is being established as a permanent campus location.
Black Student Space, which will have a celebration opening today [Oct. 26] at 4 p.m., will be located at Bird Nest overlooking the bluff and Playa Vista.
“In my eyes, this space is just the starting point to develop a location for communal safety and celebrate the history and traditions of the African Diaspora not only here at LMU but across the world,” said Jeffrey Dolliole, director of Black Student Services. “Often times, Black culture is erased or hidden; my hope is that The Mbongi Spot serves as a location and a symbol for past, present and future Black LMU Lions to understand their value and history in shaping LMU into the institution it is today and moving forward.”
The Black Student Space committee surveyed Black students, faculty, and staff to get a sense of the community’s vision for the site. The Bird Nest renovations began in summer of 2021 after approval and coordination by an 11-person committee of Black students and staff, Student Affairs, and support from Facilities Management.
“Preparing for the opening of the Black Student Space, as known as The Mbongi Spot, has been a surreal experience as I’ve been able to watch our journey from the creation of the #BlackAtLMU demands to seeing some of our goals come to fruition,” said Simone Butler ’22, a political science major and African American studies minor, who is an operations assistant at the Black Student Space. “Our three pillars are Student Success, Communal Engagement, and Social Justice, and my expectation is that everything that takes place in the space aligns with these values.”
Jennifer Abe, vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, said, “The creation of this space must be credited to the incredible advocacy of the student leadership for #BlackatLMU.”
The path to establishing the Black Student Space began in August 2020, when the #BlackatLMU student group put forth a letter to President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., and other university leadership with a list of demands that would result in a better LMU experience for Black students. The Black Faculty and Staff Association followed with their own letter, in solidarity and support for students and expectations to improve the LMU experience for Black staff and faculty as well. President Snyder shared a letter on Sept. 4, 2020, acknowledging the Black students’ demands and outlining LMU’s commitment to being pro-actively anti-racist. In November 2020, a committee was formed within Student Affairs to develop a plan for the space at Bird Nest and in April 2021, Student Affairs and Facilities Management came together to identify the scope of the project, associated costs, and priorities.
“I look forward to alums coming back to see this iconic space,” said Charles Mason, associate director of transfer admission. “It will give them chills.”
Mason, whose 31-year career at LMU as an admission counselor advised and nurtured the vast majority of Black LMU students, said he is thrilled with the Black Student Space.
“It is a celebration of students, faculty, staff and alums,” he said, noting that at the beginning of his LMU career, Black students too often felt like outsiders, with no place to congregate. “The Black Student Space will not only benefit our Black students, but also the whole university. It will be a learning experience for all students and it will strengthen the university.”
The Black Student Space will provide a “homeplace,” in bell hooks’ sense of a place of refuge, healing, and resistance to oppression. Black Student Space will contribute to the formation and holistic care of Black undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. The university recognizes that for the Black community, there are culturally specific needs that have gone unattended regardless of LMU’s Jesuit heritage.
The site provides ample space for congregation and mentorship, as well as computer stations, printers, and lounge furniture. The pillars of the space include a commitment to student success, communal engagement, and social justice with an ethos statement identifying it as a place for honoring Black, personhood, ancestors, and treating others with intentionality, dignity, and respect. All who request the use of this space are expected to honor these values.
The university has also launched an Inclusive History and Images Project, in response to another demand, to recognize LMU’s diverse stories, gathering images from the LMU archives, inviting alumni to share their memories, photos, and perspectives on LMU and exploring the Jesuit history and legacy in Los Angeles, with the leadership and support of the Jesuit Community.
The above comes from the Oct. 26 issue of LMU This Week.
If you look at the election results in Virginia and elsewhere, it’s clear that many Americans have had it with this racist, racial identity nonsense and we are beginning to push back. Universities are bastions of insanity and stupidity, and this story features another example of that. University administrators live in leftist bubbles.
People of color rightly rejected the argument that forced separateness can ever be equality. In 1954, the United States Supreme Court agreed, in Brown v. Board of Education, and overruled Plessy v. Ferguson. Now some “woke” [really, benighted] Black students at LMU won’t take “yes” for an answer. They insist that Black students be entitled to separate themselves solely on the basis of race, and have the right to exclude all other races from “their” reserved spaces!
What will it take to satisfy these numbskulls—and a University administration willing to bend the law just to placate them? Will anything ever be enough?
Dante Alighieri had it right: Anyone who enters that University must “lasciate speranza ogni ch’entrate qui”.
It would be fun if they demanded their own water fountains.
Ah I see now so we want to go back to Jim Crow days and segregate students by race, yes that is exactly what Dr. King had in mind for us. Enough already of this racist garbage, it does not work anymore the Democrat party has nothing to offer the American people except to divide us each and everyday by screaming racism racism that is all they have in their playbook. And yes as the above comment stated Virginia has just elected the first female of color in Virginia history as Lt. Governor a Jamaican immigrant, former Marine, and as Attorney General a man of Cuban descent both are Republicans, and MSNBC and CNN are calling them both white supremacists it is just to much to not laugh at, so much for white supremacy in Virginia and America for that matter, we are tired of hearing it.
When the LMU black students are not in the black students space – what space are they in?
Apparently an unsafe space.
And it’s racist that you didn’t capitalize the word black, referring to black people. I’m being racist by typing black people instead of typing Black people. See how the new rules work?
But white people is okay, and it would be racist to type White people. See how it works?
White people aren’t allowed in the black student safe center. Because whites make black students feel unsafe. Or something. That’s how it works, but I don’t understand why it’s that way. Those are the new rules.
I don’t see any mention that this is a place that not black students are prohibited from using. So not it’s not segregation. It’s not about separate but equal and it’s not about water fountains. If there was an Italian cultural center on campus, or a statue or a chapel honoring st Serra, y’all would be all for it. Why is this any different. Oh I get it. They black.
Look kids its the tolerant white liberal, who accuses everyone else of racism….
Did you see the video of the white students at Arizona University accosted by a female latinx student for having the gall to sit and study in the multicultural safe space? The purpose of the “safe spaces” is segregation. No whites allowed. It is different. You just don’t want to admit it.
Nice try…I have yet to see an Italian cultural center or whatever on a college campus that had as its foundational statement anything like ” this space is just the starting point to develop a location for communal safety”.
Are black kids at LMU in danger? If so, that needs to be decisively fixed and those responsible held legally and civilly responsible.
But I’m guessing that isn’t the point of this at all. The Hebrews where a people set apart, chosen by God to be a chosen people. They had over 600 purity laws to prove it. Christ has come. The promise of salvation is now open to the gentiles and in Christ, the ‘purity laws’ have been fulfilled and are no longer binding.
There is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, black nor white. For we are all one in Christ Jesus. That’s the way we Christians deal with hatred, not returning to wandering in the desert.
I do not like your comment, YFC. I don’t like the racism of the end comment. I don’t like you implying racism of others. If you remember, BlackatLMU was a social media hashtag and the school administrators, teachers and students were appalled when hearing of the experiences of the black students or even how things they felt would be innocuous were interpreted.
You are an educator and I share with you a link from their resource page. I have not reviewed everything on it so I am not recommending but sharing:
It’s very sad what has happened to LMU. It has ceased to be a Catholic University long ago. Now, just another bastion of radical Leftist wokeism.
The annual tuition for LMU for the 2019-2020 school year, was $50,683. Plus, books and living expenses are costly. Jesuit schools like LMU have always attrracted the smartest and wealthiest students. Black students who attend LMU are most likely going to be highly intelligent, high academic achievers, from well-to-do families. They certainly should be respected, and should not be treated like “poor victims” of “mental illness,” due to “racial injustice” and “academic inequality and failure.” Many are future leaders in their fields, destined to earn huge salaries, make many contributions to society– and will earn high respect. This concept of the segregated “Black Student Space” sounds degrading, childish, and unrealistic. Want to send former Pres. Obama’s kids to a ridiculous, segregated “Black Student Space” at a fancy university for wealthy, high-achieving students? The Obamas would laugh you out of the room! Their two young daughters are future leaders– very accomplished, already.
One of former Pres. Obama’s daughters recently graduated from Harvard University. The yearly tuition for the 2019-2020 school year at Harvard, is listed at $51,925. I am not a fan of the Obamas. But I bet both of his daughtes are high achievers, and will have good futures. I am sure that former Pres.
Obama’s daughters do not need something like “Black Student Spaces.”
Of course, they do.
The fact that you wrote than indicates that they do.
smh, No, you are completely wrong! The Obama daughters are very privileged, wealthy, very self-confident, have tremendous prestige, and were raised and educated to be future leaders. I do not agree with Obama’s liberal politics. However, the Obamas certainly do not fit into the underprivileged, racially persecuted class of poor Black Southerners. They do not need segregated “Black Student Spaces.” Ask prestigious Michelle Obama, next time she comes to give a big speech in your city, and encourages kids to success in life. Would the children of someone like “Oprah” or SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas need “Black Student Spaces?” No!
Oprah does not have any living children. Clarence Thomas (who left Catholic seminary with one of the reasons being that a white seminarian remarked “I hope the SOB dies” when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot) Son is an actor but is very low profile. Michele Obama’s kids saw how their mother was treated and if you remember Obama had to say “kids are off limits” when someone criticized his kid’s behavior.
Your sentence about “underprivileged, racially persecuted class of poor Black Southerners” shows the problem.
Did you click any of the links?
Do you think wealth protects one from racism? Maybe you have never known a racist.
In general, without even taking race into account, things like wealth, privilege, success, prestige, fame, celebrity parents bring on the haters, bring on the people who are envious and who negate you just because…It also brings on those who will hang out with you only because…
They might need more than a Black Student Space.
smh– You totally misunderstood my point. I only used names of famous, prestigious Blacks to illustrate a point. I was not personally referring to any of them at all! You should know that! My whole point is this– children of prestigious, high-profile, wealthy people of any race, are not “poor and underprivileged,” and do not need “Safe Spaces.” Wealtby, privileged people of all races are usually involved in big charities for underprivileged, poor children, all over the world! Oprah established a girls’ school in Africa, I think– for example. Plus, much more! These wealthy Blacks, and others “of color,” give to many kinds of charities! They are the great big leaders, helping all the underprivileged– and do not need a “Safe Space!” Remember, SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas also had the infamous “Anita Hill” sex abuse scandal– abuses can be of many different kinds! Ask Justice Thomas if he and his wife (I think she is white– and is his second wife) and their kids all need a “Safe Space.” I bet they would all say, “No.”
Black students who are children of highly successful, prestigious, and wealthy Black celebrities and leaders like Oprah, SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Obamas, etc. — would immediately tear down walls of segregation, and be valiant student leaders to invite everyone to shake hands, be friends with one another, love one another, and together seek to make a better world. No walls of segregation between people, for any reason.
Throughout history, people of many different races, religious groups and ethnic groups, have faced persecution. People who are famous, high-profile, wealthy and successful, are greatly admired by the millions. Most of them contribute to charities and causes for the poor and underprivileged, and are leaders for all to admire and look up to. Though they themselves at times face ignorant racist remarks– and jealousy, too– they learn to handle it all, and millions of admirers support them! Oprah and many others, have dished out famous, excellent retorts, to ignorant people who have harassed them. Very strong, smart, and “self-empowered” — good Role Models for that. Anita Hill and Justice Clarence Thomas both have battled racism– and Anita battled sex abuse from Thomas.. there are many different kinds of abuses, sadly, in this world! Sammy Davis, Jr., joked about being a unique “Black, one-eyed Jew”– that’s several minority groups, right there. And he courageously married White actress, May Britt, despite evil death threats. I’m White, and always admired Samny Davis, Jr.
BSS, remember this? Seek to understand rather than to be understood. It is attributed to St. Francis but I don’t know if it is from him.
Just because someone is wealthy, doesn’t mean they don’t need love and support or would not benefit from a space that was intended to make them feel comfortable. It does not mean that they are weak or can’t handle things on their own or can’t stand up for themselves.
This is a different generation.
Also, those who show concern that we are going backwards on integration and community have a point but things don’t have to end up that way.
Some people react as if it is anti-white and I don’t think it is. I’m from the time when everybody was supposed to be treated exactly the same but nowadays people are more accommodating to individual and group desires.
The young people today are not the same as those of us who were raised in the last century.
Anne Hendershott who is a Catholic sociologist has a book called “The Politics of Envy” that you may want to check into. Not calling you envious.
Your argument may be rooted in envy without you knowing it.
Sometimes envious people don’t want what others have, they just don’t want them to have it.
smh– No. Waste of time, troller.
Christi’s way of saying “I’m done with this conversation.”
I suggest naming it “The George Wallace Student Space’, with a sub heading of “Segregation today, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation forever.”
Nobody read the article and nobody clicked the links, did they?
Stop projecting what big media is telling you (or social media if you are into that) onto this group of students.
Stop projecting history onto the present.
You could listen more. Think about what you have read and then if you have something to say, say it, even if it is critical.
But to react with these lame comments lacking in (I’ll be charitable) deep thoughts, you are just acting the fool.
“African diaspora”? wha huh? Which one? There are 54 countries on the continent with vastly different cultural and religious heritages. It’s like calling white Americans the Euro-Asian diaspora. Generalizing all of those cultures into one broad category is kind of tone deaf and, well….racist.
I didn’t realize LMU had such a recent history of racism that such a space was necessary.
MIght they make a Catholic student space?
I don’t know, but there might be a few Catholics among the students and staff. And, if so, I’m pretty sure they’re feeling marginalized.
a suggestion– you are so right! Catholic students are extremely marginalized and persecuted today, at most so-called “Catholic” universities, especially those run by the Jesuits!
cton, Simply ask any faithful Catholic students, faculty and other staff that you know. Between undergraduate and graduate school, I attended three Catholic colleges/universities, one affiliated with the Jesuits. At the Jesuit university, Muslim students were given a virtual chapel, but the school said they could not find space for an Adoration chapel requested by some Catholic students and staff. I also taught at a Catholic high school where fidelity to the teachings of the Church was criticized as out of step with the times and I was reassigned from teaching Catholic morality and ethics to Church history and Sacraments (though I doubt they agreed with what I taught, which is what the Church teaches, about the Sacraments). If you’re open to seeing it, there is plenty of proof, my friend.
I am open to seeing it. I don’t know anyone to ask. I don’t know anyone who could afford those colleges. I know kids who went to Franciscan and Aquinas in Nashville and obviously, it is not an issue at those schools.
cton, I taught at a Catholic high school a while back and found there was a problem with Catholicism there among some teachers but more importantly for a single lay administrator whose personal life went in other directions. Sadly, he died of AIDS, along with several other teachers there. I gave a presentation on Humanae Vitae and the aforementioned administrator sought my head on a platter. It was not pretty. cton, this is just one example, but I am sure countless others could come forward with their own horror stories. At another Catholic girl’s school a few years later, I witnessed the principal of the school, a nun, get up and declare to all the girls that men had ruined the world and that it was their task to fix it. Great formation, huh? In this case I was not affected as I was now teaching math, but I would not have wanted to teach a Christian marriage and family class, if they had one, after that. Were that my task and I offered a different point of view to my class, and such got back to the principal, I don’t think that would have been pretty either.
Catholic students are extremely marginalized and persecuted today, at most so-called “Catholic” universities, especially those run by the Jesuits!
Dan you are talking about high schools and teachers. I appreciate your statements, though.
I asked for proof about the above statement-that Catholic students are extremely marginalized and persecuted at Catholic universities.
This is aggression against whites. And every white, Asian, Mexican, Eskimo student at LMU should pack that black center every day to make it a non-segregated space.
How is this helpful? Our Father loves everyone equally, why do certain people need their own space? Just another example of how left the Church has become.
It’s helpful in getting whitey, which is the entire point.
Obama set the country on this course. I wish he had never been elected president, and then his racist dividing of America never would have begun. We are a more racially divided country because of Obama and the Democrat party.
Best way to foster unity on campus — get to know and make friends with as many students of different races, ethnic groups, and religious groups as possible! Talk to them, learn all about them, and they should learn all about you. Have mixed groups of students of all types of backgrounds, and have the groups do special service projects. The groups ought to go on mission trips together, with service projects to help the underprivileged, and those suffering from calamities like hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters. That is what church groups do– and everyone makes many friends!
I think the picture of the building on campus above shows Masonic architectural influences.
when LMU gonna make
a safe space for redheads ???
Remember who is pushing this racist garbage “white rich liberals” who live in million dollar homes behind guarded gates in lily white neighborhoods such as – Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Newsom, and of course your rich white celebrities’.