They represent the official black student union group at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). They are angry and members of the Black Bruins have come forward to expose something that is lacking at the university: racial diversity. Led by Sy Stokes, these young black men want to see change and for them, it starts with a recently posted video on Youtube.
In an explosive video narrated by Stokes (who is of Black, Cherokee Indian and Chinese descent) and backed by 10 black male students, current statistics were unleashed regarding the enrollment and graduation rates of African-Americans, and specifically black men, at UCLA.
Posted by The Huffington Post:
“According to the school’s enrollment statistics, African-Americans make up 3.8 percent of the student population. In the video, Stokes points out that black males make up 3.3 percent of the male student population, and that 65 percent of those black males are undergraduate athletes. Of the incoming men in the freshmen class, only 1.9 percent of them were black.”
Stokes admitted that he wanted to leave the university during his freshman year because he wasn’t comfortable there. While he eventually found a community to call “his own,” Sy Stokes knew that it was time to bring awareness to the lack of enrollment of minorities. That’s how the ideo of the video was introduced to other members of the Black Bruins.
The vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Janina Montero sent a statement to The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s newspaper, in response to an interview Stokes did with them. in It, she says:
“We certainly recognize that the low numbers of African Americans and other underrepresented students on campus does lead to a sense of isolation and invisibility. It is difficult to eliminate this painful imbalance without considering race in the admissions process.”
Affirmative Action was deemed unlawful in California back in 1996.
Stokes says he has received negative comments and hate mail since posting the video but he’s fine with it.
“It doesn’t matter how much hate I get, just as long as someone is talking about it.”
Make sure you check out the video. We’d love to hear your thoughts.