Center for Black Studies highlights Black organizations on campus


Nyla Owens

Seniors Courtney Hollis (left) and Ladesa Jeffries (right) host a table for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at the CBS open house. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

By Kyra Johnson, Lifestyle Writer

If you’re looking to get involved in clubs or organizations this fall semester, there’s so much to look forward to on campus. 

The Center for Black Studies hosted the Black Organization Exposition as part of their Open House on Aug. 25 located in the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom. The event lasted from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Many students, staff and alumni attended the event to show their support for the many organizations across the NIU campus. The ballroom was bustling with free food, music, dancing and mingling.  

Many organizations pay homage to the Center for Black Studies for continuing to stand by their mission of supporting and advancing students’ knowledge through the “development of cultural knowledge, research, academic excellence, student leadership development and community service,” according to the CBS mission statement.  

Many tables were decorated with poster boards, tokens from organizational achievements and mantras. Incoming and returning students walked the aisles to learn more about the organizations and ways to get involved. 

The Association of Black Psychologists, also known as ABPSI, had many students lined up to learn about the on-campus organization. ABPSI participated in the expo not only for the chance to bring Black organizations a particular shine on campus, but also to continue to provide safe spaces for Black students to mingle and advance their educational and networking opportunities. 

Anyone is welcome to learn about and join ABPSI this upcoming fall semester. E-board positions are re-opened annually for members to vote on.   

Returning alumni attended the event to mingle with their previous campus organizations, NIU staff and students. Omni McCollum, a graduate in communications with an emphasis in Corporate Business, returns this fall to Northern Illinois University’s Law School. She plans on being involved through her law program in the Black Law Students Association and other law-based student organizations and looks forward to her return as an NIU Huskie back on campus. 

As a student with a Caribbean-American background, finding authentic Jamaican cuisine was the cherry on top after a long stretch of informational gathering from various organizations. Jah Love, a family-owned food truck, served a long line of attendees throughout the event. They were docked just outside the Holmes Student Center at the corner of Lucinda Avenue and Normal Road. 

Jah Love offers a variety of meal options including a Jerk Chicken box with rice and peas and fried plantain. Other popular Jamaican dishes include popular brands like St. Mary’s banana chips, oxtail, cabbage garnish, beef patties and a variety of Jamaican sodas and juices.  

Brothers George and Robert Meeks run and operate the food truck. They are both from Jamaica but came to the United States at different times. George moved here in 1999 while Robert has been here since 1993. Now they both reside in DeKalb. 

After briefly chatting with George Meeks, a big crowd of attendees, including students, visitors, staff and other residents of DeKalb, flooded to the food truck. Students mingled and ran into friends while they waited in line to be served.  

Although Jah Love does not have a set location, you can catch Jah Love food truck across the DeKalb and Sycamore area. If you’re looking to order catering or find out the next time Jah Love is in town, you can follow and like them on their Facebook page or by calling 779-212-9346. 

Visit the CBS website to learn more about upcoming events and information provided by the Center for Black Studies.