University of Minnesota Crookston’s Black Student Association (BSA) has returned in 2023 with a renewed outlook in hopes to increase involvement and visibility. BSA president Amarah Byakweli and vice president Sumaya Ugas have taken the lead on giving students of all races the chance to honor black history, culture, and way of life.

BSA meets weekly on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the Centennial Hall Classroom and they invite all fellow students to join them.

“There has been a disconnect with students and people of color, and we’re back to welcome everyone to our family and build awareness of black history at UMN Crookston,” Byakweli explained. “We want to make our history known for people who don’t know, haven’t heard anything, or haven’t experienced it as it can be a culture shock from both ends.”

“We want to highlight our group with the different events we have going on this month,” added Ugas.

As part of Black History Month in February 2023, BSA will be hosting multiple events for students including:

  • Book Giveaway on February 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Northern Lights Lounge (while supplies last)
  • Book Club with at least one meeting in February highlighting The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
  • Movie Night on February 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Heritage Hall Classroom
  • Trivia Night with Love on February 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Evergreen Hall Classroom (snacks provided)
  • Dodgeball on February 21 at 8 p.m. at the Wellness Center (10 vs. 10)
  • Grocery Bag Bingo with GEE on February 23 (BSA sponsored prizes and bundles)
  • Movie Night with GEE February 26 with a private rental at the Grand Theatre in downtown Crookston with time TBD

A future event in the works is an art gala and student banquet that will include a video showcasing the BSA’s return, highlights of African Americans in the entertainment industry, and recognition of students and seniors who will be graduating and the hard work they’ve done this year. More details coming soon.

BSA is currently looking for new members to join and to fill executive board roles for president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, plus invite others who want to attend meetings and assist with events. For more information, contact Byakweli at