our executive board members
AJ Moultrié, CHAIR
Peace everyone, it is an honor to serve as the Chair of Cal BSU. My name is AJ Moultrie and I am a senior studying Media and Journalism here at UC Berkeley. I first pay homage to my predecessors who laid the foundation for the work that we do to sustain the Black community at Cal and my ancestors who continue to fuel my every step in the path toward Black liberation. My main goal is to ensure that the #blackatcal community feels safe and seen by one another and by administration. The needs of the community drive the actions of this union and I intend to uphold our horizontal leadership policy so that everyone’s voice is heard. ALL Black people must have a seat at the table.
I want the #blackatcal community to know that they can confide in Cal BSU to provide sustainable resources, holistic support, and unconditional love. I will also work to maintain a relationship between #blackatcal folks and the larger Black community. As Black people within a university, we have privileges that our people outside the perimeter of this space do not have access to. It is our duty to provide mentorship in any way we can, in order to pave the way for more Black youth and adults to be here. I am so grateful for the opportunity to listen, learn, and work to provide a hub for Black political power, radical healing, and unapologetic action!
NIYATT MENGIS, EXTERNAL VICE PRESIDENT
Peace fam! My name is Niyatt Mengis and I am a fourth-year majoring in Political Economy and Ethnic Studies. I'm from San Diego, CA where I attended Mesa College before I transferred to Cal. I intend on using my education to work in areas of law and social impact.
I am humbled to serve as the External Vice President of Cal BSU. It is my duty to develop strategies for political action to meet the needs of Black students at Cal and uplift the greater Berkeley community. Successful execution of that demands that we be informed. I really hope to emphasize political education on campus and empower individuals to use their voice critically in our fight for liberation. Dr. Wade Nobel defines power as "the ability to define reality and to have other people respond to your definition as if were their own". I believe building and sustaining community is absolutely vital to reclaiming power and creating collective resistance against this settler-colonial, white supremacist, hetero-patriarchal system. I'm always down to unpack these concepts and be of resource to you all in any way I can.
ABDULLAH PUCKETT, INTERNAL VICE PRESIDENT
The childhood part of my life wasn't very pretty. Doing without was an everyday reality. Thanks to the Almighty, there was a strong Black community that helped us get through it. Because of this and being conscious of how the Black people who came before us sacrificed, fought, and worked tirelessly to make a way for us, I have always felt the responsibility to give back by serving the Black community in the best way I can. It is a great honor for me to be part of making sure that current and future Black students are able to get the maximum benefit from their time here at Cal.
IFECHUKWU OKEKE, BLACK COMMUNITY PROGRAMS director
Peace Family! I am beyond honored and excited to be a BSU board member this year, serving to ensure our communities within and outside of this institution are connected, and taken care of by being centered and provided with resources. As a Nigerian immigrant, I acknowledge my positionality and privilege to have been born and raised where my roots are. Along with that, I also recognize my responsibility to ensure wherever I find myself in the world, I am fighting for the liberation of Black/Afrikan people, in the spirit of Pan-Africanism, because across the globe, it is not a good thing to be Black anywhere including on our own continent.
I believe in tangibly catering and connecting to our communities outside of our campus, in places like Oakland, Richmond and even here in Berkeley, making certain they feel our presence in ways which help extend the privilege we have as students at UC Berkeley. Relationships such as those will not only enrich us by learning from these powerful communities with rich histories and active roles in paving a way for Black liberation, but also help them feel supported and loved because we have a duty to contribute to the work of our people as well.
I encourage you all to hit me with suggestions around what community engagement should look like and participate as much as you can, while centering your personal health, self-care and growth in our quest to build our nation within this nation. Sending you love and sparkles!
SIMONE DILL, Communications Director
Hey yall!, My name is Simone. I am a graduating senior (Class of 2018) pursuing a degree in Film and Media Studies. Born and raised in South Central LA. My future goal is to become an executive producer of a studio show or film. I am very passionate about media production and relations and enjoy working in this industry. Some of my other passions include Jesus Christ, working out, cooking, painting, watching shows, and taking naps. As the Communication Director for BSU, I am responsible for all communications involving the Black Student Union here at Cal as well as engaging in the #BlackAtCal community ensuring the effective flow of communication between all black organizations and black bodies on campus. I believe in heritage and community, which is manifested through oral traditions. These communications of our heritage make us who we are and writes our history. Thus, we must continue that history by making our voices heard. We got this yall. We gone be alright. Peace.
SHELBY MAYES, MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Hey yall! My name is Shelby Mayes. I’m a second year here at Cal and I’m majoring in Political Science with a minor in Journalism. I am the membership development director this year for the BSU and it is my goal to make sure all black students on campus are aware that the BSU General Body Meetings and all other events and spaces hosted by the Black Community at Cal are inclusive, enriching, and community-oriented. I am passionate about writing and the power behind words. I aspire to be a journalist or organizer in some way and to use these ambitions to serve and uplift my community at all times.
TELICE SUMMERFIELD, Ourstorian
Hi, my name is Telice Summerfield. I am the current "OURstorian" of UC Berkeley's Black Student Union, which is a role that develops and distributes both past and present content about black resistance at Cal. I am a third year (junior), majoring in Social Welfare with a minor in Spanish. I am from Sacramento, California. In my spare time, I love to do photography, dance, hang out with friends, and sleep. I am passionate about my work with BSU because I understand that documentation makes events timeless. Documenting black resistance, as well as the simultaneous black community cultivation on campus serves to make our stories timeless.
CRISLIN CHRISTIAN, INCLUSION DIRECtor
Welcome, family! My name is Crislin Christian. I am an American Studies major focusing on race, youth, and the public education system. After graduating from Venice High in 2012, I spent a year at UC Merced and two-and- a-half years at Santa Monica College in Los Angeles before transferring to Cal in Spring 2016. I am originally from the westside of Chicago and I identify as a Black, queer, low-income woman. I believe that these intersectional identities and experiences are paramount to my work as Inclusion Director and my goal to help create and maintain space for all Black student identities here at Cal.
Currently, we are witnessing the unfolding events of a political era with a primary agenda to intimidate, discourage, and divide us. It is more important now than ever before that we invest in mental, emotional and spiritual healing, both individually and together. In order to participate in the revolution, we must commit to building ourselves and our family members up, resisting patterns of generational trauma, and fortifying our networks of resources and support, both within the Black community and amongst other groups of oppressed peoples and allies. I am honored to serve my community—my family—and I accept the responsibility to actively uplift the vast diversity of Black identities that exists within it.