Ashland MLK 2022
2021 Summer Enrichment Grant
We want to congratulate Alazay Sanders, the recipient of the 2021 Black Southern Oregon Alliance Summer Enrichment Grant.
The Grant is given to deserving students, who are participating in a summer program to help enrich their lives, as well as the community in which they serve.
Alazay is a 17 year-old-junior at North Medford High School with a 3.8 GPA.
Alazay will attend the National Youth Leadership Forum: Law & CSI in Washington, D.C. It’s a 6 day program and involves visiting the US Supreme Court, Mock Trials, and a visit to George Mason University in Virginia. Her goal is to become a Civil Rights Lawyer so she can effect change in this world.
The Black Southern Oregon Alliance (BSOA) started in 2015 when teachers, parents of African American identified students, business leaders, and community members, identified the need for an organization centering the Black community’s interests and concerns in Southern Oregon.
This was not a new conversation or desire as black residents with 20+ years of living in the valley had explored the interest in a black focused community organization years ago. With the renewed call for a connected black community, the new and long-time Black/African American residents decided to turn talk into action. Thus, the Black Southern Oregon Alliance was given life and purpose.
The Black Southern Oregon Alliance identified three areas of focus community members highlighted as key needs from the newly formed group. These areas are:
BSOA will serve as an advocate for those who want or need another voice at the table. Whether that be with parents meeting with academic administrators of their student’s school, or providing referrals to resources within the general community. BSOA leads the way in fighting for Black and African American Rights. We believe will make a difference in the creation of a better, and fair space. We strive not just for Equality, but to fight for Equity.
BSOA works to, first and foremost, ensure equitable treatment of African American/Black students within the Ashland, District 6, Eagle Point, Grants Pass, and Medford school districts . Students were reporting incidents of harassment, racism, and discrimination and expressed that their voices were not being heard. BSOA is determined to continue to bring an end to these practices, and will team up with school districts to help, not just address these issues, but end the systemic racism that is present. We are fighting to make sure our kids have, not only a successful today, but also a bright and wonderful tomorrow.
BSOA strives to provide an avenue for Black/African American community members to connect in order to create meaningful relationships with others that share their history. We believe a connected community will not only thrive but will become a beacon for new black owned businesses, generate a deeper sense of cultural pride within our children, and increase our cultural significance within the Rogue Valley.
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The mission of the Black Southern Oregon Alliance is to improve the quality of life within our communities by bringing people together to enhance educational and economic opportunities for all Black/African Americans, and People of Color.
Black Southern Oregon Alliance will serve as an example of leadership and stewardship by utilizing our diverse talents to create and foster an environment where our children are motivated to achieve. We strive to empower Black/African Americans, as well as Indigenous People and People of Color, to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of the communities we live in.