Block party provides spotlight for social justice centers

Dylan McCall, Assistant Entertainment Editor

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Working in solidarity, staff and volunteers representing CSUSM’s five social justice centers, and other associations, hosted the Cougars at the Solidarity Block Party in Forum Plaza on Sept. 9.

The term solidarity means “the unity of feeling or action” and has become universally used  by social justice advocates and supporters around the world. The Cougars in Solidarity were created to uphold this same definition. Their goal is to unite CSUSM and work together to combat social injustices and issues and educate the campus about them.

Students were given a stamp card; pink for the first 100 people, and white for everyone else. Attendees had to collect five stamps from each of the center’s booth in order to purchase food from the L&L Hawaiian BBQ tent. Pink card holders were given a free meal upon completing their stamp card.

The five centers; the Black Student Center (BSC), [email protected] Center, LGBTQA+ Pride Center (PC), Cross-Cultural Center (CCC) and Gender Equity Center (GEC); and the H.O.P.E. (Health, Outreach, Promotion, Education), Wellness Center and Campus Recreations, had information booths circling Forum Plaza with different games and activities. Representatives of each center gave brief explanations about what they offer CSUSM students.

The BSC’s Porcha Ellick talked about how they promote Black student empowerment and resources to help them in life and school. “We make sure to plan with Black students in mind,” said Ellick, “we help students create the experience they want.”

The [email protected] Center’s Melissa Elias talked about how they offer an awareness of culture and display different boards around their center promoting Latin achievement; a Latino of the month board, a scholarship board and an immigration board. Many of the events they host revolve around Latin culture and expression.

The PC’s Moises Aguilar said, “we offer a brave and safe space where you can be who you are.”

The CCC’s Daniela Carreon explained how this was CSUSM’s first center and how they offer identity exploration and expression for all students. “We talk about all -isms and how to deal with them,” said Carreon.

The GEC’s Marina Flores explained how the GEC focuses on gender equity and the difference between equality and equity. They have events focusing on toxic masculinity and other equitable topics.

There were also performances from Ballet Folklorico and Alpha Psi Rho with music provided by DJ Swish. Attendees could entertain themselves with board games, a game of chance called Lotería and dancing.

Different prizes were raffled to the students and the final prize, a semester parking pass, was awarded at the end of the night.

For more information about CSUSM’s social justice centers visit; BSC:, [email protected] Center:, PC:, CCC: and GEC:

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