The University of Central Arkansas legacy is rich with black achievers who have paved the way on campus, in their communities and in their fields. In honor of Black History Month, we’re spotlighting members of the campus community who are living black history today. This week, we hear from Chelsea Tynes, a junior communications sciences and disorders major. Tynes hails from Nassau, Bahamas, and serves as the social events chair for the Caribbean Student Association.
Who is a black figure in your field of study that you admire? Why?
A black figure that I admire in my field is Dr. Kim Scriven. She is a Bahamian audiologist and speech language pathologist who encourages young people interested in the field to work as hard as they could to have the ability to give back to the community through the field. Dr. Scriven is amongst one of the most qualified people at hearLife Clinic and was the first Bahamian to install a cochlear implant at the clinic.
Why do you celebrate black history, and how do you honor black history on campus?
I celebrate Black History Month because this is a time to honor the work that those before us have done for the black community. Whether you’re of African American, African, Caribbean or Afro-Caribbean descent, black history should be valued. When I worked in the residence halls as a peer coach, I honored Black History Month by making it the theme for my bulletin board.
What can UCA learn from its Caribbean student population?
From the Caribbean student population at UCA, you can learn that black culture extends far beyond just African American culture. It should be understood that there were black individuals who came to the U.S. and made a difference in the black community, especially with the U.S. being influenced by so many other cultures with it being a melting pot.
How would you encourage others on campus to take part in honoring black history?
I would say that a small action can cause a chain reaction. Doing something as simple as posting about monumental figures in the black community on social media or starting a conversation about it with friends can raise awareness by educating others.
What book, album, film or historical figure would you encourage others in the UCA community to learn more about during Black History Month? Why?
I would encourage the UCA community to watch “Selma.” I would encourage watching this movie because it is great in educating about the Civil Rights Movement and freedom march of 1963.