BLSA: Embracing the Significance of Black History Month - The University of Tulsa
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BLSA: Embracing the Significance of Black History Month

Michael Mays

The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) at The University of Tulsa’s College of Law stands out as an advocate and an ambassador. This commitment is embraced by its members throughout the year but holds particular significance during Black History Month.

Leveraging the spotlight on Black history, the association strives to enlighten and support those who seek to broaden their perspectives. Leading the charge is Michael Mays (2L), president of BLSA. He provides support to his peers and serves as a unifying force that binds and strengthens the entire membership. BLSA represents more than just recognition. It embodies a timeless pursuit of belonging. Its members unite to curate an experience that transcends diverse cultures and generations.

Mays emphasizes that Black History Month holds much greater significance than just a calendar event. It serves as a powerful call for unity, bringing together a diverse student body to rally, advocate, and uplift one another. “This is a community where anyone can join,” Mays proclaims. “We have a healthy representation of African American and non-African American students across multiple ethnicities and cultures, united in learning, sharing, and support.”

For Mays and BLSA, Black History Month is not a fleeting observance but a pillar of their student experience and personal journey. As a first-generation college graduate, Mays underscores the profound importance of building one’s own legacy and support network when traditional structures are lacking. “It can be challenging facing a career in law,” says Mays, “seeing so many peers with a legacy of support and recognizing that is not my reality. But, through BLSA, that support can start now … with us.”

Mays emphasizes the impact of witnessing successful African Americans in positions of influence, particularly within the legal profession. The presence of Dean Oren Griffin as TU’s first African American law dean symbolizes an ideal. “Seeing Dean Griffin leading a law school is so encouraging. We all need to see someone who looks like us in various roles. Plus, he completed this path during a period that was considerably more challenging than the present,” Mays said.

Looking beyond personal experience, Mays and BLSA acknowledge the pivotal role of law as a catalyst for a more equitable future. They view the study and practice of law as a unique journey to reshape societal norms and cultivate a legal system that is fair and inclusive.

Mays emphasizes the vital role of universities in creating future legal scholars and advocates through groups like BLSA. By supporting the association, the college not only honors history but also prepares students for a future where representation is the norm. TU Law is dedicated to equal opportunities for education, advocacy, and support, not just during Black History Month, but every day.