Speaker visits Rider for Black History Month

By Benjamin Shinault

In honor of Black History Month, the Student Government Association got a head start on the festivities, hosting a new event titled the “Cranberry Student Leadership Experience” on Feb. 1.

Held in the Cavalla room, a critical chunk of the night was guest and keynote speaker Joshua Fredenburg. Fredenburg can be described as a “dynamic, inspirational, high-energy speaker,” making appearances on various television networks, radio stations and has also performed a TEDx speech.

He has also published seven books based on leadership, motivation, diversity and inclusion.

Fredenburg is the founder and president of the Circle of Change Leadership Experience, a program that transforms the lives of culturally diverse and first generation students.

“It was really big to get Dr. Fredenburg to Rider,” Student Government Association President Naa’san Carr said. “We exchanged information after the workshop and then over the summer I reached out and said, ‘I really want you to come.’”

Fredenburg was eager to come to Rider and lecture those that came to the event.

“I was just excited to go speak to the students about leadership and about leaving a legacy and just helping them to grow and develop into making an impact on the world,” Fredenburg said.

During the event, participants took part in various activities and discussions such as defining what the legacy of leadership is, crafting such leadership and more.

A prominent term throughout the speech was vision, and how to use it to create something bigger.

One of the many participants in the event was Elijah Banks, a member of Black Men Unified and Lambda Theta Phi, a Latin fraternity, who spoke on Fredenburg’s presentation.

“The main point of his speech, in a sense, was actually about legacy,” Banks, a sophomore criminal justice major, said. “There were other topics that went along with that but the main takeaway was legacy.”

The event occurred on Feb. 1, marking the beginning of Black History Month.

“A lot of times within the black community there are several leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King obviously, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X,” Fredenburg continued said. “I talked about that their words of wisdom that they left as part of their legacy as far as their words, their wisdom, their knowledge that have helped me to thrive and succeed as a black man in America,” Fredenburg stated.

“Fredenburg talked about his experiences not just as a scholar and a student, but also as a Black man, a person of color,” Banks said. “Going to school and coming from a not so well off household and how he achieved the position he is in right now.”

Carr also took in a good bulk of what Fredenburg implemented into the minds of the Rider students that attended the event.

“Legacy is really something we don’t often talk about but it really influences how our community flows, how student organizations stay afloat,” Carr said. “At a certain point he did tie in Black History Month and to celebrate black excellence.” 

Students, as a whole, came away with something profound that Fredenburg helped implant; his goal the whole time.

“After it, everybody had a lot to say, everybody had a lot of questions, some of them followed me on social media, on Instagram and even shared some things they planned to do to leave a legacy at Rider University, so it was a really, really good response,” Fredenburg said. 

Carr stated that SGA does not have any upcoming events planned, but he and his committee are hoping to fill the upcoming March calendar.

Related Articles

Back to top button