SISTERS pays tribute to positive black role models

By Tiffani Blackmond

SISTERS will hold its 27th annual Tribute to Black Men today at 7 p.m.

The event will take place in the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom and is free to all. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s program will focus on the positive black men on campus and how they affect people’s lives. The organization also will celebrate its 30th anniversary of sisterhood.

SISTERS, or Sisters Interacting Soulfully through Thoughts, Emotions and Realism to attain Self-awareness, was founded in 1975 by Francine A. Caldwell with the purpose of seeking positive reactions among black women, said Neecy Roney, SISTERS president and a senior kinesiology major. Roney said she thinks the organization’s tribute is important for black men and women on campus.

“It is important to come out, because we do appreciate what they do,” she said.

Creating positive images

The tribute creates awareness and builds self-esteem among black men, said Noelle Lloyd, the student adviser for SISTERS and a senior corporate communication major.

“A lot of black men are overlooked on campus,” Lloyd said. “This is just a way to shine some light on them, and put them in the spotlight. It is a way to uplift them and show our appreciation for the various things that they do.”

Both Roney and Lloyd said they think the tribute shatters a lot of negativity and stereotypes that may be associated with black men.

“That’s the biggest thing,” Roney said. “We get to show that men are out there doing things that are positive.”

Time to show appreciation

Lloyd said she thinks the tribute also is a way to show how black men do more on campus than party and get into trouble. This year’s candidates have been nominated by students on campus by way of penny votes. None of the candidates will know if they will receive an award until the day of the tribute.

Featured performances include those from the NAACP, the Black Student Union, Divine Expressions, Sigma Gamma Rho and many others. The event also will feature a tribute to the late Luther Vandross.

“We want organizations as well as students to come out and just show support because we have worked really hard to show our appreciation to the black men on campus,” Lloyd said. “People coming out lets them know that we do care about what they are doing on campus.”