Centre students partner with African American Historical Society, raise $3K

Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2023

On Feb. 24, a fundraiser was held in a joint effort between the Centre College Black Student Organization, Interfraternal Council, and the Danville-Boyle County African American Historical Society. The fundraiser generated $3,000 for the African American Historical Society. The fundraiser was held at the Combs Warehouse and featured a convocation for DBCAAHS President Michael Hughes followed by a performance of his band Michael Fly and the Sounds with a “Black to the ’90s” party afterwards.

“I’ve been visiting the African American historical society since I was a freshman,” said Interfraternal Council Public Relations Chair Conley Combs. “There I learned a lot about black history in Danville, especially how the black business district was razed and how Centre’s campus has expanded into primarily black neighborhoods and disenfranchised them. Specifically Greek Row used to be a primarily black neighborhood, Combs Warehouse used to be a place Michael played but now it is for the school’s use. There is potentially some tension because of that. As someone in the governing body of Greek Row I wanted to do something to mend those tensions.”

The Black Student Organization was looking for ways to increase engagement when Combs reached out to them about the fundraiser.

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“We automatically jumped on the idea when he reached out to us,” said Black Student Organization President Glahens Paul. “This was all done in the sense of bringing in a community. Black students at Centre can say we are a community on our own but that community needs to interact with the rest of Centre and by extension Danville. We thought this event would be a great idea to bring everyone together. We made sure there were no other parties on Greek Row. I’m thankful for how much we were able to raise. We couldn’t have done it with out Conley taking charge on this. We really hope we can start to interact with Danville’s black community more often and have that chance to continuously build this community.”

Hughes was glad to see the excitement from the students in attendance.

“I was so overwhelmed because the kids were singing old songs from the ’60s, they got up and danced. We all came together, it was a  beautiful time,” Hughes said. “We had nearly 200 kids in the audience. I went well, the kids was really accepting. It was so nice he kids actually knew the music we were performing. It got to the point you couldn’t even find a spot on the dance floor. It was a great night and our partnership with Centre just keeps getting better.”

Centre College Director of Diversity and Inclusion Melinda Weathers was proud to see the students work together for a good cause.

“It was a great partnership of students,” Weathers said. “It was student led, our office helped with some logistical thing s but the students put everything together it was their idea. I enjoyed the music that night, it was a great event.”