Student Turns His Passion for Equity Into True Civic Engagement
Hunt birthed the idea out of his experience as president of the NAACP Jamaica Youth Council, in Queens.
“Throughout my tenure as president of the NAACP Jamaica Youth Council, I have worked to eliminate race-based discrimination, empower individuals of color, and close the social disparity gaps present today,” Hunt says. “Our youth council hosts events in the community to educate individuals, advocate for reforms, and promote the overall wealth and health for people of color. We will focus a lot on voting power and the census in the coming year.”
That experience has led Hunt to widen his vision, to give a voice to those of the campus community.
“My initiative for starting a chapter at Farmingdale State College came from my enjoyment of creating change in my community,” Hunt says. “The work I have done alongside my peers in Jamaica has driven me to look for new ways to create change and opportunity wherever I go. Being a part of the NAACP for about three years now, I have learned the values and initiatives of the organization, which align with my current values. I firmly believe in equity, and ensuring that everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities needed for their progression. I am passionate about this organization and what it stands for, equal rights for all.”
Securing a chapter is a multi-step process. First, a minimum 25 members must commit and submit applications and dues. Second, a letter of intent is sent by a campus advisor to the New York State NAACP branch. Finally recommendation letters must be submitted by multiple sources.
Hunt is studying computer programming and information systems, a member of Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society, and a CSTEP student. He is also a Senior Activity Specialist at Community Youth Care Services, where he mentors elementary school children, writes a quarterly newsletter, and leads a computer science club. And if that isn’t enough, he works at Staples, helping customers purchasing electronic devices and offering technical support. With all he does, he manages a 3.52 GPA.
At Farmingdale, Hunt has lots of support for his work, such as faculty members who have sponsored membership fees for the first 25 students that joined the chapter. Membership meetings are full, and students are engaged. The NAACP has embraced Hunt’s efforts.
“Being recognized as an official chapter of the NAACP is an honor. Receiving recognition from great civil rights activists means that my fellow students at Farmingdale State College and I can be trusted to advocate for the rights of colored people under the prestigious name of the NAACP.”
Hunt is on a mission, and has ambitious plans.
“In the short term, we would like to be instrumental in the development of an Africana Studies curriculum, hosting culturally relevant activities, and exposing students to issues that plague students of color. In the long term, we hope to establish a long-lasting chapter that will provide opportunities for leadership and overall growth. We also hope to empower individuals to elevate this chapter to new heights, advocating for reform on local, state, and national levels. In the spring semester, we will look to have meaningful programming, including a wide range of activities during Black History Month.”
Hunt is already gaining traction with his Africana Studies campaign, working with Dr. Angela Jones, associate professor of sociology and coordinator of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Dr. Jones is developing a multi-departmental coalition to work with her on an Africana Studies minor, and she hopes to have the program submitted for college review by next spring. Then, she says, the NAACP will throw its support behind the effort, urging the College to support the minor and review the number of black faculty on campus.
“‘Closed mouths don’t get fed’ is a distinctive philosophy I live by,” says Hunt. “It has helped me develop into an active leader in my community, capable of advocating for change.”
To learn more, check out the chapter on Instagram at @fsc_naacp.