Rasheed Auguste, 2016 MLK Leadership Awardee: “Reflections of a BSU Co-Chair”

/ / Publications, Recent Posts
Rasheed Auguste is a member of the MIT Class of 2017 and a 2016 MLK Leadership Awardee. A double major in Nuclear Science and Engineering and Physics, Rasheed is a nuclear materials undergraduate researcher, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Rho Nu Chapter, and a brother of the Chocolate City living group on campus. Auguste’s recent post about his experience as an activist on campus appears on BAMIT Review (28 July 2016), the Black Alumni/ae of MIT (BAMIT) blog.

Reflections of a BSU Co-Chair

A Voyage Toward Diversity and Inclusion at MIT
By Rasheed Auguste ’17

How will you know when it’s finished . . . What will MIT look like?

— Professor Wes Harris

Seemingly every previous Black Students’ Union (BSU) Co-Chair has advanced at least one major innovation during his or her tenure. Ikenna Enware ’15 helped launch an annual Black pre-frosh ‘fly-in’ weekend for Ebony Affair, the Black MIT community’s flagship gala. Last year, Grace Assaye ’16 led the MIT undergraduate community’s response to police brutality and systemic racism through Black Lives Matter.

I, however, had no idea what my contribution would be when I stepped into the role of BSU Co-Chair during my junior year. And then, we witnessed a wave of events ripple across college campuses around the country — places like the University of Missouri, Yale University, and Ithaca College — that demanded collective action.

For the first time, I felt exposed. Social media posts by my personal friends now mirrored national news headlines. This wave had hit a bit too close to home. My MIT bubble had burst, and the real world came crashing in.