Editorial: Black History Month

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This image was made by Camille Jessie through Canva using Sketchify elements.

Editorial Board

The University Times editors would like to acknowledge Black community members, activists, and professors from campus for their achievements and the impact they’ve had on the Cal State LA community.

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Headshot of Melina Abdullah. Credit: Cal State LA website.

Melina Abdullah

Abdullah is a social activist and scholar. She is a Cal State LA Pan-African Studies professor and served as the former chair of the department. She has led the fight for Ethnic Studies at grade school and university levels. She calls herself a “womanist scholar-activist” and is a co-founder of the “Black Lives Matter” Los Angeles, the original chapter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has been so impactful that it was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Shaunelle Curry

Curry is a Cal State LA professor and creator of Media Done Responsibly, which supports the “Black Lives Matter” movement and encourages film students to be inclusive with their stories. Curry created awards for Media Done Responsibly as a way to “amplify artists, technologists, content creators and media agencies that incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into their principles, policies, practices and platforms,” according to the website.

As a professor, Curry is engaged with her students, making sure that students discuss important topics like the “Black Lives Matter” movement and various other topics to ensure we are in touch with our news and what is happening around us. When news outlets cover protests, she helps students see and analyze that news in an important way. She also offers lots of opportunities for her students, emailing students about internships and job opportunities.

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Image of Anthony Cox. Credit: Cal State LA website

Anthony Cox

Cox is the former associate chair and a professor of the journalism department at Cal State LA. He has held many job positions within the journalism industry including serving as a host for NPR radio shows, working at KFWB All News Radio as a news writer, KFWB All News Radio as a correspondent, and many more.

If you are in the journalism department, then you know Professor Cox or have heard of him. He has been instrumental in building and expanding this department since he has held numerous job positions within it. Most journalism students best know him as a professor. In the classroom, he is unfiltered, insightful, and genuinely one of a kind. He will challenge you, set high expectations, and will never hesitate to fire off constructive criticism. He will hold students accountable but will also be your most sincere, honest, and committed supporter. Cox is also a very willing mentor, always eager to share the countless lessons he has learned and knowledge he has acquired over the course of his distinguished career in journalism.

Amiri Mahnzili

Mahnzili is first and foremost an excellent professor. He has great compassion for his students and makes it a point to be real, transparent and reliable. He is always open to hearing students’ questions, disagreements, and concerns. As a professor, he never shies away from difficult subjects or uncomfortable discussions. His commitment to honesty and just keeping it real is both striking and inspiring. He is passionate about history and understanding human society. If you’ve ever been in his class, you would know he is well-read and particularly knowledgeable about American history and society. He is profoundly opposed to injustice, discrimination, gaslighting and abuse. He is never afraid to speak out about the injustices in American society and throughout the world. Despite his awareness and understanding of the immorality and failures strewn throughout American history, he has always considered himself “radically optimistic” and has never given up on trying to build a more just, honorable society.

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Headshot of Terrence Roberts. Credit: Cal State University website

Terrence J. Roberts

Roberts who graduated from Cal State LA in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology was also a member of the Little Rock Nine in his youth. He along with the rest of the group received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. He went on to receive his master’s of social welfare from UCLA in 1970 as well as his Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1976. He is one of the foremost social activists in history and a distinguished alumnus of Cal State LA who continues to embody the school’s beliefs and virtues, inspiring activists of the future.

There are so many more Black community members that have greatly contributed to their neighborhood, workplace, and campus. If you’d like to nominate someone for their achievements or the impact they’ve had on others’ lives, fill out this Google form by March 5.