When Asse Diallo,’23, transferred to Farmingdale State College in the Fall of 2021, she was determined to restart the College’s NAACP Youth & College Division Chapter.
“I came from a different school, a different culture,” said Diallo, an Amityville resident. “It was a very tight community and I wanted to create a similar community here.” She was especially seeking to connect with people of color and backgrounds similar to her own. “I was looking for things of interest, where you could find community,” added the Science, Technology, & Society major.
After searching for former members, she contacted the previous NAACP president, Darrien Hunt,’21, and he offered to help her get it up and running, and it’s thriving.
Under Diallo’s dynamic leadership the chapter was reactivated in the summer of 2022 and about 100 students joined. Members have been gathering and advocating for causes both on and off campus. Much of the fall was spent encouraging students to register to vote and educating members and others about candidates and issues on the ballot.
“We had a different topic each week,” according to Diallo, who is the current President of the FSC chapter as well as the Publicity Chairperson for the New York State NAACP.
Getting people to care about other people and raising students’ awareness about national issues, such as student debt, racial injustice, and police brutality, and helping them become advocates for change are among Diallo’s goals. Too often, she said, students and others don’t get awakened by issues until they directly affect them. “I want to show people the importance of caring for your neighbor,” said Diallo. “If you see someone in your community affected by an issue, you should advocate for them just as you would for yourself.”
While the NAACP keeps busy throughout the year, Diallo sees Black History Month as a time to celebrate all aspects of Black culture, music, and history. At the same time, Black history should be celebrated by everyone on the FSC campus every day, she added.
One of the people on campus Diallo admires is Dr. Kevin Jordan, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence. “Dr. Jordan always has an idea to improve Farmingdale,” she said. “When he says he is going to do something, he does it, and it helps to create a school we want to see.”
Forming more clubs tied to student identities could further build community among groups on campus, Diallo continued. “I see more students getting together, bonding because of clubs.” Often students don’t know that others are struggling with the same issues they are, and that is the beauty of community. “We are more powerful; we are stronger together.”
If you are looking to get involved and join our community, contact the NAACP.