Black Greeks Empower White Colleges toward Racial Reconciliation – Michelle Guobadia of UNC Charlotte Explains

April 30, 2017

For Black Greeks, there’s always a light-hearted discussion about where it’s better to be made: at an HBCU or a PWI (Predominantly White Institution). And having experienced both institutions, I can see the merits of both. There are things that can be done at a one that cannot be done at the other. For White Colleges, Racial Reconciliation is a huge one of those things…

With very few White students at HBCUs, it’s difficult to engage across color lines within the collegiate setting. However, Black Greeks at White Colleges have an opportunity to develop their ability to confront the White power structure while they’re still in school. There’s a great deal of value to that.

Black Greeks could use the Alumni Support

If members of NPHC (Black Greek) organizations are going to be effective at speaking truth to power, they will need the support of those who’ve crossed before them and are now established in their careers. We all know, systems of White power don’t do well at listening to Black people. Jane Black student is likely disbelieved when she challenges John White student. And racial reconciliation cannot happen in that disbelief and prejudice.

Because of the bond that is shared by Black Greeks, and because in nearly every town there is at least one highly respected Black person who is a member of an NPHC organization, there’s great potential for bringing notable voices into the discussion – simply on the strength of “the Shield.”

How are you giving young men and women “on the yard” access to your expertise?

When you hear about the things being done in Greek Life at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, this question is brought into deeper focus. When great work is being done, there’s always a demand for more! And I think you’ll be fascinated by the level of engagement being coached by Michele Guobadia, Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, on a college campus that was literally blocks from where Keith Lamont Scott was killed by police.

More support from Black Alumni would help bolster programming at a critical time in American race relations. Moreover, the support and mentorship is invaluable as men and women on campus learn to navigate issues of race while remaining committed to those reasons for pledging in the first place.

So, in this episode of Blacks with Power, Michelle shares some of the things that have happened under her leadership. We talk about how Black Greeks in particular are engaging discussions on racial reconciliation that are lifting the entire Greek Community on campus…and how – working together – White & Black Greeks are strengthening relationships and encouraging deeper bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood across organizations and color lines.

She even challenged me to get off the sidelines and connect with Black Greeks at the College in my area!

Now, what do you think of the work being done at UNC-Charlotte? Do you agree with Michelle’s vision? And what from this discussion has shaped the way you engage?

We’d love to hear your thoughts…

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  1. Black Greeks on Wearing Letters to Protest

What are Your Thoughts?