Students, administrators, faculty and staff gather in the San Manuel Student Union conference. Photo Taken by Brenda Hernandez.

The 2024 CSUSB Black History Month celebrations have commenced with a lined up series of events that will span throughout the month of February. The inaugural speech opened with Tyler Lange, guest speaker and CSUSB alumni, who encouraged students to Galvanize, take action on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at a 12 pm held event at SMSU North to celebrate Black History Month. 

The San Manuel Student Union conference center hosted the first of a six series events scheduled for Black History Month. Despite the rain, students, administrators, faculty and staff gather in a large room filled with rows of chairs, tables decorated with a flower arrangement and pictures of famous Black achievers as a centerpiece. 

Lange urges students to galvanize, that is take action, as a way to foster black success. He states “Black students need to be able to connect with more successful black role models. Especially in those fields that they’re interested in and especially, in those fields that black students and blacks are underrepresented in. Like anything, however, this would require everyone to galvanize.” With these words of encouragement, Lange implies students to seek mentorship in all communities. Guidance from those who have experience empowers students to continue on with their own journey. It becomes less scary or challenging to fulfill any professional role.    

Furthermore, Lange talks about representation. 

“For many people, the path to success begins with representation. It is easier to envision yourself in a position if you see people that look like you in that position. When I made that decision to pursue a degree in education. My primary motivation was that anger that I mentioned. I was angry with the lack of representation in education.” 

With these words, Lange highlights the impact of representation in the black community. Representation inspires community members to aspire to new heights, new territory. 

Reflecting on his personal experiences growing up, Lange states “My journey did not begin because of what I had. Rather, it began because of what I lacked.” Lange frank words are powerful. He admits that his journey in education would probably not have taken the course without the lack of black role models in academia. Rather than conforming to the status quo, Lange aimed to be the one who brought change to future generations by introducing a new normal. He encourages students to also do the same. To be empowered to bring change and by doing so, they are contributing to black excellence.   

Lange concluded his speech with the following words: “Be the change that you would like to see in the world. Because, when we’re angry about the injustice of unfair eyes. We are motivated to change them. When we are motivated to change them, we galvanize together as a community to make it happen.” 

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