VT students host first black homecoming week

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BLACKSBURG, Va (WFXR News) – The first black homecoming week, titled Sankofa, kicked off Monday at Virginia Tech.

This is the first-year students put together a black homecoming week full of events to celebrate the diversity on campus.

“Homecoming at Tech isn’t a big thing amongst the black community, so we wanted to make it a big thing,” said one of the organizers Michelle Ya Diul.

Ya Diul is a senior at Virginia Tech and says it was necessary because the black community was under-represented.

“We were thinking we should do something that’s more towards us. That would allow us to feel a lot more included and bring the community together during homecoming,” Ya Diul said.

The week’s long events started off with a cultural showcase, which had a fashion show, dances, games, and a hairstylist exhibition.

It will have events all week including a concert on Thursday featuring rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

“It means a lot to me. It means a lot that Tech is letting us have these events and supporting us,” said Ya Diul.

Part of that support featured Faculty Committee Advisor Dr. Shernita Lee.

“This happened at the student level as well as the faculty and staff level, for us to utilize our resources and our skill sets to best assist them through that vision,” Dr. Lee said.

The events are open to everyone, like sophomore Diamond Gilliam.

“This long week is pretty much something that everybody is looking forward to. That is a part of our culture, a part of who we are,” said Gilliam.

She says it’s important for students to never forget their culture or who they are.

“We fight every day on this campus to belong here. So this is showing that we’re not giving up on this fight,” Gilliam said.

Organizers say they hope this event grows, gets more participation from alumn and helps students build a network within their community.

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