Black Lioness Alliance embraces the new


BLA members not only get to participate in discussion on topics like campus safety and relationships, but they also get the opportunity to volunteer and network. Events BLA has hosted in the past are Black Jeopardy, a Breast Cancer cupcake fundraiser and more.

Lavette Williams, Editor-In-Chief

 Black Lioness Alliance (BLA) embraces all things new, preparing for the fall semester with over 40 new members.

After getting started in October, BLA attended its very first Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration (SOAR), where members witnessed not only black women signing up, but incoming students of other races, genders and ethnicities.

“I was a little surprised with the turnout that BLA had at SOAR,” said Brittany Cummings, BLA Vice President. “A lot of incoming freshmen were interested in the club and its meaning. [We got] to know some of the incoming freshmen and [got] the chance to talk to them about what the club does.”

This increase in members and diversification has Black Lioness Alliance closer to where it hoped to be – a club non-exclusive and for all.

Now up to 60 members, BLA President Aliyah McCary acknowledges that SOAR was a “huge success.” 

“I think we’re on the right track to becoming a safe place for students,” McCary said. “I know me and the other officers work really hard to make this club happen. We want people to join. Like I said to our members last semester, ‘Without you all, we would not exist.’”

McCary said it is always important to have members and to appreciate them because they are what make the club function.

“The more members we have, the more fun we’ll have, the more opinions we’ll have,” McCary said.

Another way that BLA plans to get more students involved is by hosting a meet and greet. This event will take place on Sept. 8 in the Guillot University Center (GUC) Loft from 6 – 8 p.m.

Last year’s meet and greet is how some of BLA’s older members came about joining the group.

“I found out about BLA through my friend, Brittany Cummings,” BLA secretary Mykiria Woods said. “I was interested in joining, but [I] wanted to learn more about it. After going to the first introductory meeting, I decided to join.”

Woods said that ever since she joined the group, the members have offered a welcoming and safe environment.

“Being a member of Black Lioness Alliance is like being a part of a big family,” Woods said. “I love how we interact and support each other in the different things we are in. We try to have fun and have bonding time with all the members. We [also] have a lot of open discussions about things that are going on in the world.”

At their meetings, BLA covered topics such as campus safety, relationships and stress. However, discussions are only a portion of what they do to help their members.

“Our President, Aliyah McCary has also helps us a lot [by] sending us different events on campus and volunteer opportunities with networking, [ which] benefit us in the future,” Woods said.

Previously, Black Lioness Alliance has held a kickball game, Black History Month Jeopardy, a Breast Cancer Awareness Cupcake for a Cure and several other events.

But as far as future events are concerned, McCary recognizes that with the ongoing pandemic and the COVID-19 protocols put in place, they will be played “by ear.”

“It really depends on our comfort level [of our members and students],” McCary said.

Both seniors at the university and leaders of BLA, McCary and Cummings use events like SOAR and their meet and greet to really promote their positions.

“All of the officers graduate next May with the exception of one,” McCary said. “We started to advertise for these positions at our last meeting, but I’m also going to promote them before school starts because we have [to have] new officers in 2022.”

McCary said it is sad to even think of leaving.

“Black women are my passion,” McCary said. “When you start something that means a lot to you, you’ve got to make sure you train the people after you so [they can] keep BLA active. The minute BLA stops being a safe place, all the hard work that me and other officers have done would be a complete fail.”

This is their primary concern – keeping Black Lioness Alliance growing and thriving after they leave.

“[But] I’m also excited to see our new members’ reactions to BLA,” McCary said. “[The discussions that we have] are learning experiences. I have learned from our members and I hope they’re learning from me.”

McCary’s vision for the group is to continue learning from each other.

“With everything that took place this summer with the SGA President, my vision for this semester is to coexist with people you may not usually [coincide] with,” McCary said. “[I want] to be able to find a balance and to respect all. As a black woman and a student, how can I balance my own personal [beliefs] but still know how to respect others’ differences? That is my vision. I want to be a strong leader.”