B/AACC’s Real Talk opens conversations around diversity at CSU

Isabelle Rayburn

The Black/African American Cultural Center’s Real Talk provides a platform for students to talk about the reality of cultural and personal identity in a modern and divided world.

A set of posters hang on the wall.
The Black/African American Cultural center put on the 2018 display of inventions by African Americans throughout history. Inventions From Chess in ancient Egypt to the typewriter. (Brandon Mendoza|Collegian)

The B/AACC is one of many cultural centers on Colorado State University’s campus. The B/AACC office is a resource for students of color around campus and like other cultural centers, they promote diversity and inclusion not only for students of color but whoever wants to join them.

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One of the popular events that the B/AACC office holds is Real Talk, weekly social events that have different controversial topics every week. These in-depth conversations are meant to be an outlet for students in a place where they feel comfortable.

Janaye Matthews, a third-year biomedical and electrical engineering major with a minor in ethnic studies is one of the lead peer coordinators that co-facilitate these real talks.

“It provides a student space to just talk freely, we refer to it as a brave space where people can show up as they feel they need to,” Matthews said. “The concept of a safe space also ties into that because it’s run by students, for students so our professional staff members aren’t necessarily involved in that setting, so there’s no real pressure to live up to any expectations or anything.”

“we can just really understand who we are and different things that tie into our identity as college students, as black students and as just black people in general.”

Janaye Matthews, a third-year biomedical and electrical engineering major with a minor in ethnic studies and BAACC member

There is a process for choosing a topic each week that is relatable to all students so that they can be engaged. The office meets weekly to decide what the topics are by breaking them down to in-depth discussions. 

“We get to explore different aspects of Black identity whether that’s historical context or in a contemporary context,” Matthews said. “We can really understand who we are and different things that kind of tie into our identity as college students, as Black students and as just Black people in general.”

Real Talk is every Thursday from 4-5 PM in the B/AACC office (Lory Student Center, 335) . 

Collegian reporter Isabelle Rayburn can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @seiss_diosaa.