Admissions recruiter, Dominique Beale, and the Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) unit of Undergraduate Admissions have launched a new podcast titled “Blue, Gold & BLACK”, dedicated to engaging with the Black community at UCR as well as prospective Black students.
According to Beale, prior to the official September launch, the Student Affairs and Marketing Department was instrumental in helping his team develop the podcast. With their help, the podcast came to fruition, and episodes are now developed largely by the CEO unit as well as himself. Each 45 minute-long episode features staff, faculty and administration interviews with the purpose of examining intersectionality as it pertains to the Black experience within the Highlander community. These episodes serve to amplify these community members’ voices and bring awareness to the work that they do in their respective campus sector.
As an admissions recruiter for the CEO team, Beale stated that he plays a role in the recruitment of Black and African diasporic populations. He emphasized the importance of developing new and engaging ways to communicate and engage with the Black community, especially during the social justice movement that has been gaining more traction in 2020. Beale added that this year has further proven how imperative Black voices are in the social discussions taking place across the nation. “It is important that Black voices are amplified and centered in conversations about progress because often they are the ones leading the charge,” he stated.
Beale is optimistic that the podcast endeavor will be successful in engaging Black students, as it is and will continue raising awareness of all the people and resources that UCR has for them on campus. He explained that UCR is a large campus with many people, meaning it can be difficult for students to connect with staff, faculty, alumni and administration; as a result, students might not be knowledgeable about the Black representation that does exist at the university. “It is my hope that this podcast increases that awareness,” he explained, “so that current and prospective Black students can find meaningful mentorship and resources to improve their experience as a Black student here at UCR.” Beale added that it is important for current and prospective students to know that the university’s representation is deeper than simply having faces represented in promotional materials.
Jamal Myrick, director of African Student Programs, echoed these sentiments and voiced his support of “Blue, Gold, & BLACK”. He affirmed that the podcast is a “breath of fresh air” for many in the Black community at UCR, especially now given the uncertain national and international climate. Myrick also expressed his belief that the podcast helps reiterate that Blackness is not a monolith, and it manages to do so by incorporating Black individuals straight from the university community.
Though the school’s new virtual environment has created other issues for students looking to become involved and engaged with the Black community on campus, Beale assured that the “Blue, Gold & BLACK” podcast seeks to function as a useful resource for any individual desiring to learn more about the Black community at UCR.
Beale concluded by adding that they hope to feature students in their newer episodes, which are aired every other Wednesday with the next scheduled for Dec. 2. For those interested, tune in to any streaming platforms like Apple, Spotify or YouTube, and find them on Instagram or Twitter.