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May 2, 2018

Organizations To Hold Unity BBQ Block Party to Bring Together Black Community

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Cornell’s black community will come together to celebrate the end of the school year on Sunday at the first-ever Unity BBQ Block Party.

A variety of black organizations in the Cornell community spanning undergraduate, graduate and faculty groups are collaborating for this event, which will take place on the lawn of the John Henrik Clarke Africana Library.

“We want to make it really inclusive since this is an opportunity where the entire black community at Cornell can come together,” said Alexandria Maloney grad, treasurer of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association. “Everyone is welcomed.”

As the leading organizer of Unity BBQ, BGPSA hopes to connect black graduate students with different communities on campus.

“I think graduate students feel the most disconnected sometimes, especially in departments where there are not a lot of people of color,” Maloney told The Sun.

This block party is a response to the recent series of racially charged incidents at Cornell, according to Maloney.

“The recent events on campus shed light on the need for a space like this where the black community at Cornell can come together and celebrate,” Maloney said.

The Unity BBQ will include food, live performances and guest speakers, and the menu features soul food such as hot wings, pulled pork, smoked turkey, potato salad and more.

The organizers hope the event will be a time for community members to connect outside of the classroom.

“The black community usually come[s] together as a whole during time of crisis,” Maloney told the Sun. “I want that to extend to celebratory occasions.”

Maloney also expressed her optimism toward the outcome and the future of this event.

“I hope that the Unity BBQ will bridge together the past, present, and the future of the Cornell Black Community,” said Maloney. “We hope that this is the first of many of come.”

The BBQ will take place on May 6 at 1 p.m. at the African Studies and Research Center.