BFSA hosts the first annual Unity Gala

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By: Kalen Gray, Staff Writer

Walter Carter, a member of the custodial department on campus, has a personality that cannot be ignored.
On Wesleyan’s campus he is regarded as someone who will give you the truth, some jokes and critique rolled into one delightful ball of laughter. These days he is a proponent and advocate for the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), which has been in existence for approximately three months.
The first formal event for BFSA will be the Unity Gala on Saturday, March 3.
Walter and the BFSA created a community that bleeds action. Organization was needed and is key in helping to solve the issue of communication between faculty, staff and students.
The BFSA will act as a liaison that will bridge all people on this campus together in an urgent fashion. This is important because of the words “all people,” which reduce the confusion that the BFSA is simply here for the Black community here on campus.
Walter made it a point that people should know that this organization is not exclusive in who it regards to be allies or members. It is an organization formed to recognize and appreciate Black faculty and staff on campus, but it is also an organization that will be there for all who need help.
Through the BFSA, Walter hopes that people can see him as someone who will impart wisdom and friendship. “In order for a seed to grow, you need to nurture it.” His words are a testament to the inherent importance of relationships that we create in life, and that we must value and appreciate as best as we can. Visibility is also something Walter hopes to achieve on campus. Walter’s relationship with students is one that is extremely important to him.
Communication between him and others should be comfortable, genuine, and filled with trust. It is all driven by the spirit of friendship for Walter. The “circle” of friends that he alludes to is one that we must keep tight and in order.
“You only have a circle, a God-given circle,” Walter said, not to be confused with a religious man but a man of morals who understands that these friendships and relationships we create should be treated as if they were handed from God.
At the same time, students should read this and see in Walter someone who understands them and will do for them whatever it is that need.
One of the first things the BFSA and Walter are doing is the formation of the Unity Gala. According to Carter, the Unity Gala’s proceeds will be used to start a resource and emergency fund for students. The BFSA hopes that this fund will grow so that students can be helped on a yearly basis in times of need. The Unity Gala will be held on March 3 from 7p.m.-12 a.m. in the Hansen Student Center.
Activities will include “Jazz Hour” from 7-9 p.m., followed by dancing and celebration from 9-12.
Carter said he would like to thank Jessica Sheelam, Crystal Ocampo-Fernandez, the BFSA, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Black Student Union , Spanish and Latino Student Association , African Student Association, Circle K and the Feminism: Equality Matters organization, for all that they have done to help organize the Unity Gala.