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UMKC’s African American Student Union Brings Community for Students

Leadership of TAASU discuss impact and upcoming February events.
Provided by TAASU
Members of TAASU at a general body meeting.

  The African American Student Union (TAASU) works to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment for African American students by providing spaces and events to connect, share experiences and celebrate the culture. 

  February, Black History Month, will be filled with events held by TAASU to highlight the Black community in KC.  

  “We work to actively address and raise awareness about issues affecting the African American community around the world, and most importantly, on campus,” said Khyra Curtain, TAASU president. “Every year we use strategies such as education workshops, guest speakers, advocacy and activism, cultural celebrations, and social media campaigns.” 

President Khyra Curtain highlights her organization at a tabling event. (Provided by TAASU )

  Curtain shared that cultural awareness on campus is a key aspect to bridging knowledge gaps, not just at UMKC, but globally. 

  “We want to make sure that those who are not in the African American community understand the significance of events like Soul Food Friday,” Curtain said. “For those part of the African American community, we want them to know that TAASU was created for them, and we will always have their best interest at heart.”

  Jada Pittman, a junior majoring in business and member of TAASU, describes how she discovered the union while passing by the Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) office her freshman year. 

  “Later that week, I went to my first TAASU event,” said Pittman. “The music, the energy, and the time spent socializing and stepping out of my comfort zone made me more confident.”

  Since joining TAASU, Pittman has found herself constantly inspired by her peers. The union has become a source of motivation and has challenged her in the most rewarding ways. 

“Whether through conversation, inspirational black keynote speakers, or playing spades in the MSA, each memory is added to my college experience here at UMKC,” Pittman said. 

  Pittman now works as the membership coordinator for TAASU.

 “I am proud to say that I have the opportunity to provide that same comfort that was provided to me nearly three years ago,” she said.

  Pittman said she is most excited for the  “Getting to The Bag” event taking place on Feb. 9 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Bloch Executive Hall, room 331. 

  Members can expect to grow their portfolio with professional headshots, an updated resume, assistance with searching for internships and more. 

  The 2024 Freedom Breakfast, taking place on Feb. 20, will feature keynote speaker President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Bob Kendrick, and musical performances from Kevin Church Johnson and more. 

  Other events, such as a clothing drive and flea market, are planned to be held. For more information, go to their Roo Groups or Instagram

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