Zweyla Mitchell dos Santos is a final year BA Musical Theatre student. Here she shares her experience of creating the RCS Black Union.
The RCS Black Union was born a few years ago when I first arrived at RCS. There weren’t many Black students but I had made friends during Freshers’ Week with Akuc Bol and Vickie Jones, who were both third years and we decided to make a Facebook group called RCS Black Union.
From this, we used to meet and hold celebrations together, such as Thanksgiving, which was amazing (the food was fantastic!).
We all stayed in contact with each other and it was just a really nice space to be in, where we all felt that we could be ourselves. In 2019, quite a lot of the Black students in the group graduated which meant there weren’t so many of us left but we still kept the group open.
As my second year progressed, it became obvious that we needed something more structured so that we could reach out to all of the Black students in the RCS community. One day I decided that we should make it official and I took it to an SU Council meeting – and that was when the RCS Black Union became a society.
As a Union, we have many different aims. We are here to be a safe space and an environment where Black students can experience any emotion from joy to sadness with a group of people whom they can connect with.
It can also be so hard to navigate any type of system when you have an issue or complaint and we want to be able to support any Black students that need help to work through any issues and give moral support. We also want to create a network of Black creatives, as well as create a platform to showcase the amazing work that our Black students are making.
There has always been a need for this community and since the beginning of my degree, it has been both a family and a rock to me.
Find out more and visit the RCS Black Union Facebook page.
Read more from Zweyla in Review magazine.