Students celebrate and honor Black History Month with fashion show
Madison College students concluded Black History Month in style, hosting a fashion show dedicated to Black culture from around the globe. Fourteen students participated in the show, each wearing their own apparel inspired by their culture and lived experience.
The idea for a fashion show was brought forward by students and quickly embraced by Madison College staff.
“We asked students what they wanted to see and experience during Black History Month, and they brought forward this idea,” said Ro Encizo, manager of the First Year Experience. “The students took the initiative to make this happen. This was all them.”
Grad assistant and event organizer Olivia Lemke could tell students were a little nervous prior to the show, but once the music started and students could feel the crowd’s support, she saw those nerves turn to excitement.
“We really encouraged them to embrace their culture and have fun with it,” Lemke said. “Each of the students wore their own clothes and pieces, so it really was unique and authentic to each of their respective cultures and lived experience.”
A sense of belonging starts with students seeing themselves in the events and activities happening at the college, says Encizo. “This demonstrates the college’s efforts to be inclusive and create spaces where students feel welcomed.”
He went on to say how much representation matters. “When I was an undergraduate student, I often looked for something, but didn’t know what that was. It ended up being a community and sense of belonging at my institution. That came directly from clubs, organizations, and events that were reflective of me and my identities.”
This fashion show was one of several events organized by students over Black History Month and is an example of how they are defining and creating their experience at the college. For Encizo, he's inspired by the vision and collective action of these students.
“They are working hard to build space and demonstrate to their fellow students that Madison College is exactly where they need to be.”
All photos featured are courtesty of Myxee Thao Photography.
The Wisconsin State Journal interviewed multiple students on what it meant to plan and participate in the fashion show. WKOW and Channel 3000 also attended.