For a group of students at Temple University in Philadelphia, it isn’t about changing the narrative, it’s about changing the narrator and creating content that is true to the Black perspective. The institution’s Black Student Union has announced the launch of EMPOWERED; a new digital magazine that will capture the essence of the Black student experience on campus, the Temple News reported.
The concept for the publication came after many students of color felt like the institution lacked outlets for them to express themselves. Issues of EMPOWERED will feature collections of artwork and literary pieces done by Black creatives. Temple senior Spencer Hamilton, who founded the magazine, hopes that it will serve as a digital safe space for Black students. “I felt BSU has the potential to have a campus-wide impact and have a presence on campus that really empowers the Black students at Temple,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “The reality is we are at a [predominantly white institution] and for some people, it’s really hard to navigate that space when there’s so many racially charged factors that influence your experience.”
He added that the publication will allow students of color to voice their concerns and share their experiences about life on campus and beyond. “Being able to come together and have this sense of unity in the community, I feel like that’s what I really strive for. I hope that I can do that with this magazine.”
Black students at colleges and universities are reclaiming their narratives and being candid about their experiences surrounding race and education. Kristine E. Guillaume recently made history by becoming the first Black woman president of the Harvard Crimson. She says she hopes her appointment helps Black students feel a stronger sense of belonging at the university. “I want people to think about how to navigate and feel like they can and get through their education and feel like they do belong here. That’s a big thing for me,” she said.