Fashion Show Celebrates Black History Month - Christopher Newport University


Three students wear clothing representing their culture.

Fashion Show Celebrates Black History Month

Event is part of fraternity's B.L.A.C.K. Week.

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Christopher Newport’s rich cultural tapestry was proudly displayed during a multicultural fashion show sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

The show celebrated the wide array of backgrounds and heritage that can be found across campus. The event was part of B.L.A.C.K. ( Beauty, Love, Achievement, Culture, and Knowledge) Week, a slate of academic and social events meant to bring students of all colors together to commemorate Black History Month.

Colorful outfits representing a variety of different cultures were featured, including Indian and Chinese. The event also showcased the fashion creations of Christopher Newport students who have their own labels.

“I think this is a cool concept,” said Ryan McDowell, who coordinated the show and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. “It elevates what we have on campus.”

McDowell, ‘24 Psychology, said he hoped the fashion show would bring students together and foster appreciation across cultural lines. “We all have different histories,” he said. “This shows how all cultures can come together. We can all impact one another.”

Jasmine Batth, president of the Student Diversity and Equity Council, said the show was an ideal vehicle to elevate the importance of inclusiveness.

“Celebrating many cultures is very important to me,” said Batth, ‘25 Political Science and Government. “This is a great way to increase our presence. The need to collaborate is so important.”

All of the models in the show were students.

“We’re really excited about it,” McDowell said, who MC'd the event. “It’s highly multicultural.”

The plan moving forward is that the show will grow in years to come to involve more students and organizations.

“I hope this becomes a new tradition. CNU is about traditions,” Batth said. “I hope it is something that we do every year.”

In addition to the show, B.L.A.C.K. Week includes a Black Ball, speakers about the Black excellence in the broader world, and an activity hour. The week features seven activities in seven days.

B.L.A.C.K. Week is done in collaboration with the Black Student Union, National Pan-Hellenic Council, the African American Student Association, the Student Diversity and Equity Council, the Asian Student Union, and the African Student Association.

“We have put a lot of thought and time into this week.” McDowell said.

B.L.A.C.K. Week fulfills the fraternity’s mission of sharing love for all mankind, no matter what color people are.

“It’s a big week for us,” McDowell said. “It’s very ambitious. But it’s important. We want to showcase Black life on campus.”

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