Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


The State – 02/22/24

Today’s weather forecast is predicting overcast skies with a high of 50 degrees and a low of 31 degrees.

Black representation among faculty is vital to student belonging, success, students say

Only 6.5% of MSU undergraduate students are Black or African American, which is 2,633 out of 40,483 total undergraduate students.

For these students, representation on campus is not only less common, but also of great importance. One vital source of representation, students say, is through professors who look like you.

African American and African Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Sheri Lewis said it’s especially important for Black students at a predominantly white institution like MSU to have professors who look similar to them to create a “kinship and a communal space.”

It also allows students to see themselves reflected in those roles, Lewis said.

In addition, Lewis said representation is also important in school settings when it comes to wanting guidance regarding personal issues.

Not having enough representation in educational communities can be harmful to Black students and students in other minority racial groups.

Lewis believes that in order to display representation that extends further than race to their students, professors should be more vocal about their identities.

Future Black educators at MSU navigate careers as education becomes politicized

Since 2021, 44 states have taken steps to restrict the teaching of critical race theory, as well as discussions of racism and sexism in classrooms, according to data from Education Weekly. Eighteen states have either signed these restrictions into law or approved similar actions.

With the teaching of Black history being targeted in America, the positions of teachers are impacted nationally. Those studying to become teachers are preparing themselves to enter a field that has been placed under immense social and legislative pressure, and Black students are working to navigate this challenge.

MSU teacher education freshman Kyleigh Ferguson has always been drawn to teaching. When she was a kid, she used to play school with her friends by having them sit and learn from her while she guided them through pretend lessons.

Ferguson said these attacks on Black history affect both her identity and future profession. At the same time, they make her more motivated to become a teacher.

Senior teacher education major Jessica Williams is on the advisory board for Future Teachers of Color, an MSU campus organization that began holding events this year.

For Williams, being in a primarily white institution, or PWI, makes it feel as though her voice isn’t heard at times. Having communities like Future Teachers of Color can help with this sense of invisibility and isolation, she said.

Williams said she wants to prepare her students for society through her teaching.

When Ferguson is a teacher herself, she hopes to provide similar feelings of comfort for her students.

Based on original reporting by Amy Cho and Hannah Locke.

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About the Contributor
Rachel Fulton
Rachel Fulton, Podcast Director/News Producer
Rachel (she/her/hers) is a junior at MSU studying Journalism with a minor in Broadcasting. She found her love for radio in high school, where she was the News Director and a DJ for 89.5 WAHS Avondale Community Radio. She has been with the Impact since her Freshman year where she has continued as the News Producer for The State podcast and now our Podcasts Director. Her love for radio turned into love for Podcasting as outside of the Impact she is the Associate Producer for Lauren LoGrasso’s award-winning podcast “Unleash Your Inner Creative.” On her free time, Rachel loves to workout, swim, and cheer on her boyfriend Zack who coaches for MSU Football. “Let me fade into flashing lights”

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