Beyond the Classroom: Meet Africana Studies Club President Nafisat Olapade

Nafisat Olapade sitting on a cement bench in front of a large brick building.

Today we feature Nafisat Olapade, president of the Africana Studies Club. She’s a Biological Sciences and Psychology double major and a first-generation college student. Here, she tells us more about the club and her leadership role in this campus organization. 

Nafisat Olapade poses on a black metal bench in front of some trees.

Can you tell me about the Africana Studies Club?

Africana Studies Club is here to promote a higher level of consciousness for students when it comes to whatever path they decide to choose after Rowan. It’s important to emphasize Africana Studies as a major or a minor. It’s important to battle racial disparities in its forefront in whatever career you decide to get into. 

Nafisat Olapade poses in an orange shirt in front of bushes and a parking lot.

Is the Africana Studies Club involved in any events?

We have events that are planned, currently this year we plan on doing volunteering programs. We’re partnering with NJAC, which is the New Jersey Abolitionist Collective; they work with the communities that are less funded and have less opportunities. They are also really big on advocating for the rights of inmates. We plan on doing a volunteering outreach programs with them.

What do you hope to get out of the Africana Studies Club for yourself?

Africana Studies itself allows me to learn more about how I can use whatever position I gain in the future to help people in communities that need help. It allows me to be aware of the disparities and just the structural racism that is in a lot of different fields in the world and how I can do my part from where I stand. 

Nafisat Olapade poses in an orange shirt in front of a rocky wall.

Does the Africana Studies Club have a different meaning this year with the Black Lives Matter movement?

I think right now we have a lot of people who care, and that’s something great to hold onto. I feel like this momentum is great for our club and it’s great for also gaining members. People need to translate their caring and social media activism into things that are tangible in real life. I think this momentum that we currently have could be used in the club and having people just gain awareness in what racism means in day-to-day life. 

What is your favorite thing about the Africana Studies Club?

I really like that I’m friends with my e-board members, some of them are my roommates actually. I like the passion behind a lot of the members in the club and I like that I get to leave something at Rowan before I move on. 

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Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

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