Student organization hosts unity think tank


Dr. David Stovall of UIC speaks at “M.O.V.E: A think tank” a program hosted by the Center for Black Studies in Cavan Auditorium on Monday night. Stovall spoke about a number of topics including the history of segregation in Chicago, and the public education system.

By Kia Clair

Man of Vision, Excellence and Empowerment (MOVE) hosted a think tank session to bring consciousness and awareness in the community to African Americans on Monday.

The Reunification of the Black Community Reconnecting With and Moving Toward Our True Nature as a Communal People event was from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Gabel Hall’s Cavan Auditorium. It was hosted by MOVE founder Keyalo Gray and other members of the organization. The organizations hosted guest speaker David Stovall, associate professor of educational policy studies and African-American studies at UIC.

MOVE members are mainly male and partner with other organizations, including those geared toward females empowerment, according to Gray. The organization was initially established to target young men to lead movements and uplift the community and women.

“We want to create positive relations to uplift black men and women in the community,” said Alvato Cartman Jr, MOVE member and senior elementary education major. “What I do on campus is empower women in specific. I call them Black Queens because black women are oftentimes disrespected and sexualized by men, so when they hear me call them that they can gain a new outlook on black men and our respect for them. I incorporate the 10 point principles to the best of my ability.”

There are two pillars that MOVE utilizes: consciousness and awareness, or the knowledge of self and bettering understanding the African American identity. The second pillar is the multiplicity of the community actively seeking solutions to problems.

“Our objective is to promote our pillars,” Gray said. “We have a 10-point program that establish the consciousness and awareness to African Americans by asking them questions that gives them a knowledge of self, such as who they are and where do they come from.”

The 10-point principles MOVE is composed of include knowledge of self, consciousness and awareness, discipline, positive vision, community building, unity and peace, leadership and constructing and defining black manhood.

Stovall covered several points that reiterate the same principles MOVE goes by. He engaged the audience by providing specific teachings from other civil rights leaders, personal experiences and statistical evidence about African Americans. By using some of those things, he provided his outlook on what can be done to change the root of problems in African American communities.

“NIU doesn’t mandate you to take IDSP [Inter-College Interdisciplinary courses],” said Rasaan Williams, MOVE member and junior history secondary education major. “So what we do is create organizations such as MOVE to bring consciousness and awareness to African Americans and the world around them. Before becoming a member of the organization I have to find out what [a would-be member would] know, see if they know their history, and if they have dedication to be in MOVE.”

MOVE welcomes everyone to come to its think tank sessions every Thursday in Stevenson South. It is a progressive organization that is geared towards African American people, but in general, falls under anyone oppressed, accords to Gray.

For more information, contact Keyalo Gray at 815-753-7913.