Student clubs and organizations THRIVE on campus. There are over 200 different organizations ranging from professional organizations, major-specific orgs, and even clubs for music and the arts. There’s a home for everyone, and I found a home in the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP).
We hosted our first ever OBAP week during Black History Month and we’re finally compiling all of the content. OBAP week emphasizes our pillars – scholarship, leadership networking, and community service.
This was our OBAP week flyer that we distributed throughout campus. All events were open to everyone and we were happy to see that faculty members participated in events as well.
Sunday, club members got together to paint the Spirit Rock. Located steps away from the Student Center, the Spirit Rock is a point of self-expression for students on campus. OBAP was excited to add the layers of painted history that the rock provides the student body.
Our finished product! We definitely aren’t spray paint masters, but in the process of painting the rock we got a chance to bond, talk, and just have fun.
Throughout the week we displayed Black Aviation/Aerospace Facts in the student center. This was an opportunity to shed light on the giants that paved the way for Black and African-Americans in aviation.
Prior to flying with United Airlines, Captain Marshall served in the United States Air Force beginning in 1964. In 1972, Captain Marshall was forced to eject over enemy territory and was captured. He was a Prisoner of War (POW) until his release in 1973. Our members and other attendees were fortunate enough to hear his stories as an African-American in the USAF and a POW in the 60s and 70s – a time of racism and civil injustice. His stories highlight the importance of celebrating Black History Month as well as the other men and women that contribute to “reclaiming our time.”
Later in the week, we attended the Embry-Riddle Basketball games with the Caribbean Students Association. Dressed in our blue and gold, we were the embodiment of school spirit. Still one of the best games I’ve been to!
Our members also got the opportunity to participate in the half-time games. I honestly can’t remember if we won; we were so busy cheering that we didn’t know what we were really cheering for. We were just excited! The games are a must.
On Friday, we invited Bethune-Cookman University to participate in our annual trivia night. Questions were centered around Black history, aviation, aerospace, and pop culture.
OBAP closed off the week with a leadership retreat in Orlando. Staying in the house allowed us to bond, connect, and learn from one another.
In light of all of these events and the upcoming close of the year, our club (myself, especially) is reminiscing. This was a semester to cherish. Thank you to everyone that participated and those that will participate in the future. OBAP is Embry-Riddle and I couldn’t be more proud to be an Eagle!
To see more of OBAP’s events and our role in the Embry-Riddle campus community, check out our Instagram.