A student at the University of South Florida is breaking racial barriers and displaying #BlackExcellence at the institution. According to ABC Action News, Britney Deas was elected to become the student body president at the Tampa-based school, making her the first Black woman to be appointed to the position.
The junior—who hails from Miami—has always had an interest in civic engagement. Her passion for advocacy led her to run for the student body president role at her school. Her win was historic; aside from being the first African American woman to be at the helm of the student government, she is the first woman in two decades to take on the position.
For Deas, it’s all about representation. She hopes that her accomplishment inspires underrepresented individuals to change the status quo and boldly step into spaces that they’ve historically been locked out of. “Being the first African American female to hold the position is awesome. You know, I love to be that representation. Being the first female in 20 years is just as great because it shows that we’re moving forward,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “If you want something, you go and you do it. You try and do it. There’s nothing stopping you but yourself.”
Among the top issues on Deas’ agenda is combatting homelessness amongst the student population and creating resources for individuals battling with mental illness issues. She will be inaugurated next month and is slated to step into her role in May.
Black students are rising up the ranks within campus groups and making history while doing so. In 2018, Kristine E. Guillaume was appointed to lead the Harvard Crimson making her the first Black woman to become president of the publication since it launched in 1873.