The Emory Black Student Union (EBSU) – a space with study and lounge areas, enhanced technologies, student resources – is supported by committed staff offering educational and social programming. The EBSU reflects Campus Life's steadfast commitment to ensuring an inclusive, equitable, and just environment that allows all members of our Emory community to thrive. The EBSU is open to all Emory students, undergraduate, and graduate, and exists to help support our diverse community with dedicated space for programs, celebrations, and knowledge sharing.

We invite you to experience the space, connect with resources, enjoy artwork that celebrates the legacy of Emory’s Black communities, and attend meetings and events sponsored by the EBSU and Emory’s various Black student organizations.

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to the EBSU Listserv!  The purpose of the listserv is to disseminate information to keep subscribers abreast of what is happening on campus and beyond, especially as it aligns with the mission and vision of the EBSU.  We provide weekly emails about programs, highlights, and efforts regarding the EBSU space to  keep you informed!  If interested in frequent updates and communication check out our Facebook page: THE EBSU.  

To subscribe to the EBSU Listserv:

  • Send email to Listserv@listserv.emory.edu
  • In the text(body) of the email, write SUBSCRIBE EBSU [your first name] [your last name]. For example" Subscribe EBSU Alex Walker"

To unsubscribe from the EBSU Listserv:

  • Send an email to Listser@listserv.emory.edu 
  • In the text of the email, write UNSUBSCRIBE EBSU [your first name] [your last name]. For example”UNSUBSCRIBE EBSU Alex Walker
For further assistance, email Sariyah Benoit (SNBENOI@emory.edu) or Andrea Grant (aegrant@emory.edu)

Emory Black Student Union

Thank you, for your interest in reserving the EBSU for your program or event!

The EBSU is located in the Alumni Memorial University Center (AMUC) on the 1st Floor. We are Room E106 immediately adjacent to the Office of Racial and Cultural Engagement (RACE).

All EBSU reservations are governed by Emory Student Center meeting service policies in addition to lining up with the EBSU Mission & Vision. Please see Emory Student Center reservation policies.

The EBSU cannot approve reservations for non-Emory entities. Consider collaborating with an Emory student group for your program/event. Contact Meeting Services for additional assistance. Phone: 404.727.1706

EBSU Reservation Process

Prior to applying to reserve the EBSU please make sure that you or the entity you represent are:

  • An Emory student group, department or affiliate in good standing with the University
  • The owner of a working smartkey account
  • Proposing a program in line with the EBSU Mission /Vision
    • The Emory Black Student Union (EBSU) enhances, celebrates and supports Emory’s Black communities through dedicated space and programs and serves as a resource for African and African Diaspora culture and history

If your event matches these criteria please continue by applying to reserve the EBSU.

EBSU reservations require 2-4 business days for a response. Once your event request is processed you will receive an email confirmation or denial from our Reservation & Logistics Intern. DO NOT advertise for events that have not been formally approved via an email confirmation.

University Reservation Process

If your event does not meet these criteria but are still in need of a meeting space please utilize the 25Live system or contact Emory Student Center meeting services.


In December of 2012, growing student concerns sparked the formation of an ad-hoc committee designed to explore issues of race, gender, privilege, sexual violence, and oppression on campus.  This committee, composed of student leaders, faculty, and administrators from the Division of Campus Life, created an online form to gather student feedback, which resulted in two Emory-wide open discussion forums.

The creation of the Emory Black Student Union (EBSU) was a direct result and recommendation of the open dialogue and cooperation between the student community and Campus Life administrators, and the ad-hoc committee.  The space is one of several recommendations that were included in the 2013 Compact for Building Inclusive Community at Emory.  The EBSU was the solution proposed in response to a lack of community and programming space for the black community.  Campus Life and students acknowledged a series of challenging situations in the community and identified dedicated space as a key priority for best supporting black students at Emory.

The EBSU aims to improve race relations on campus and in the community by creating an environment that is receptive to African-American culture and ideas.  This environment is key to ensuring a successful academic and social college experiences for Black students, and successful communication with Black student organizations on campus.   In addition to being a hub for Black cultural organizations, the EBSU serves as a space for all students across all organizations at the University and a place where there can be an exploration of genuine cultural exchange!


The Emory Black Student Union (EBSU) enhances, celebrates and supports Emory’s Black communities through dedicated space and programs and serves as a resource for African and African Diaspora culture and history.

Through its space and programming, EBSU aims to:

  • Provide a sense of belonging for Black students
  • Affirm a range of Black identities
  • Facilitate knowledge-sharing
  • Build connections among students, faculty and administrators across campus and create conduits that connect students to available University services
  • Cultivate student growth and support individual development
  • Strengthen and support student organizations
  • Foster student commitment to equity and justice
  • Support solidarity among Black students and with organizations committed to social justice
  • Enhance community and cultural appreciation through entertainment
  • Fortify the social and educational interaction amongst the Black community and other communities at Emory University, including, students, staff, faculty, and alumni.

The ONYX awards were named after pillars of the Black community, faculty, staff and students who made undeniable changes in progressing the community during their time at Emory.  Jaye George (‘15C) & Davion Colbert (‘14C) contacted Candace Pressley ('15C) chair and creator of  the Trailblazers program to see if it could become incorporated within the program.  The three worked together to create nomination forms and gather a committee of faculty and staff. The awards were named after a 2011 student led initiative headed by then first-year students, Anthony Keith ('15C) & Jovonna Jones ('15C) called the ONYX Bond Initiative. The Onyx Bond Initiative planned to provide various opportunities for Black first years to fellowship, network and unify as their years at Emory continued. The awards drew upon this legacy three years later becoming officially known as the ONYX awards of  the 2014 Trailblazers Program on Friday April 25th 2014.​ 

Qualifications and Procedures for Nomination

The Emory Black Student Union programming committee coordinates the selection process of the Onyx Awards, starting in March with notice to the university community to submit nominations. Any university employee may make a nomination by completing the online nomination form before the deadline. 

Nomination form and award information may be accessed here.

Nominations should address the award descriptions below that you are aware of or have observed during the nominees career at the institution. The more details and examples provided that demonstrate the promise of the nominee are highly encouraged. Nominations should be submitted by Friday, April 8th, 2016.

A selection committee will review nominations and choose the nominee who most closely embodies the spirit of the award.

Award Categories

  • The Hamilton Holmes Award is meant to honor any undergraduate student for their pioneering character in the face of challenges or adversity in the Emory community. Hamilton E. Holmes (8 July 1941 – 26 October 1995) was an American orthopedic physician. He and Charlayne Hunter-Gault were the first two African-American students admitted to the University of Georgia. Additionally, Holmes was the first African-American student to attend the Emory University School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1967, later becoming a professor of orthopedics and associate dean at the school. Holmes was a member of Phi Beta Kappa fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi Honors fraternity according to the “Desegregation” website for the University of Georgia. The recipient of this award should demonstrate outstanding character and identify the challenges and/or adversity they have overcome.
  • The Brian Fuller Award is meant to honor any undergraduate student for their outstanding civic leadership on campus and beyond and making a difference in our communities. Brian Fuller served as an advocate for equity on Emory's campus, both in the Student Government Association (SGA) and in the greater Emory community. He acted as a great resource for younger students and had a passion for creating the most quality education experience for all.
  • The Patricia Taylor Award is meant to honor any undergraduate student for their dedication to academic excellence- love of ideas and achievement, engagement in learning, scholarship, creativity, and service to others. Patricia Taylor is the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services and has served the Emory community since 1998. Ms. Taylor spends much of her time helping and encouraging students to thrive academically and always continues to do so. Academic achievement is an important criterion for this honor, but by no means the sole measure of excellence. The recipient of this award should also demonstrate how they have encouraged academic excellence in others.
  • The Heart of Gold Award is meant to honor an administrator and/or staff member that shows continued support, commit to the community for any immediate need and always demonstrating selflessness of their time, resources, and energy. The recipient of this award goes above and beyond a job description and exhibits personal andprofessional integrity.
  • The Andrea Neal Award is meant to honor any undergraduate student that shows all-around consistent engagement in the areas of service, academics, and social communities at Emory. Andrea Neal is the Assistant Director for both HUES (Hughes Undergraduates Excelling in Science) and PREP programs at Emory Center for Science Education (ECCSE). She has played an active role in many students’ lives at Emory, and focused much energy and attention on helping students succeed academically, as well as in engaging in extracurricular activities with students.
  • The Robert Lee Award is meant to honor any faculty member with an undeniable presence as a mentor/tutor and dedication to students and their growth. Robert Lee, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director of Multicultural Medical Student Affairs at Emory University School of Medicine joined the faculty and Administration in July 1994. He holds an adjunct associate professorship in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Previously he served for twenty-two years as Assistant Dean for Minority Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to his many responsibilities, he mentors numerous students and staff in achieving their dreams.
  • The ONYX Alumni Award is meant to honor an Emory Alumnus who has demonstrated great student and campus relations and a commitment to thriving the Black community at Emory. The recipient of this award should be an outstanding Emory Alumnus in their impact on campus and in their community.
  • The Strong Heart Award is meant to honor any undergraduate student dedicated and recognized as a strong voice in the community, remaining academically excellent, while making a positive impact as a proactive leader. The recipient of this award should be dedicated to institutional change. The recipient may not be in the forefront of a movement or the loudest voice in creating change, but their tenacity, diligence, humbleness, and hard work does not go unnoticed.
  • The Jermaine Pearson Award is meant to honor a new ingenious and irreplaceable part of the community. As an innovator and risk taker, this person should promote the success of everyone around them and be instrumental in helping the community thrive.


Recipients of the ONYX Awards


  • Strong Heart Award: Kimberly Herard '15C                                                                           
  • Hamilton Holmes Award: Malcolm Jones '15C
  • Brian Fuller Award: Casidy Campbell '16C
  • Patricia Taylor Award: Kwadwo (Kojo) Sarpong '15C
  • Heart of Gold Administrator Award: James Francois, Associate Director of Communications and Assignments
  • Andrea Neal Award: Adaobi Okocha '15C
  • Robert Lee Award: Dr. Rizvana Bradley
  • ONXY Alumni Award: Dorothy Bota, CEBA
  • Jermaine Pearson Award: Sophen Joseph '16C
  • Founders Guild Award of Service


  • Strong Heart Award: Jovonna Jones '15C                                                                                     
  • Hamilton Holmes Award: Candace Pressley '15C
  • Brian Fuller Award: Kevin Satterfield '15C
  • Patricia Taylor Award: Jaye George '15C
  • Heart of Gold Administrator Award: Marlon Gibson, Director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life
  • Andrea Neal Award: Huyen Nguyen '16C
  • Robert Lee Award: Okeoghene Ogag '15C, Simone Wilson '14C
  • ONXY Alumni Award: Brandon Luten, CEBA Chair
  • Jermaine Pearson Award: Quincy Cherry '14C
  • Founders Guild Award of Service: Elizabether Alexander '16G, Samantha Scott '15C, Troizel Carr '15C, Jovonna Jones '15C
  • Dr. William C. Hunter, the first African-American faculty member in the Goizueta Business School. He most recently served as Dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa from 2006-2012. During his career, he received a Career Achievement Award from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (1992) and the President's Award for Excellence from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (1999).
  • Dr. Hamilton Holmes, the first African-American (male or female) to attend Emory School of Medicine. He later became chief of orthopedics at what is now the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and then went into private practice. In 1989, he was named medical director at Grady Hospital, a position he held until February 1995, when he became chief of orthopedic surgery at Grady and associate dean at Emory.
  • Clarence Cooper, one of Emory’s first two African-American law graduates. President Bill Clinton appointed him a judge for the Northern District Court of Georgia in 1994. Cooper was the first African-American appointed to a full-time judgeship on the Atlanta Municipal Court and the first African-American ever elected to a county-wide judgeship on the Fulton Superior Court.
  • Marvin Arrington, one of Emory’s first two African-American law graduates. Arrington became one of the most influential attorneys in Atlanta, leading the firm Arrington and Hollowell and serving some sixteen years as president of the Atlanta City Council. He helped bring the Olympic Games to the city, introduced legislation that made Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a city holiday, and helped start the Hank Aaron Rookie League program to provide athletic opportunities to inner-city youth.
  • Verdelle Bellamy, one of Emory’s first two African-American nursing students. In 1974, Bellamy became the first African American to receive a gubernatorial appointment to the Georgia Board of Nursing from then-Governor Jimmy Carter; in 1978, she became the first African American president of that board. In 1993, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing, the equivalent of a nursing hall of fame. She retired as associate chief of the Nursing Service for Geriatrics at the VA Medical Center in 1998.
  • Allie Saxon, one of Emory’s first two African-American nursing graduates. After earning her Emory degree, Saxon joined the faculty at Winston-Salem State College in North Carolina, which had a training agreement with Grady Hospital. She later moved to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Atlanta and then became a contractor representative for Medicare
  • Dr. Delores Aldridge, the first full-time African-American Emory College Faculty Member. In 1999, Aldridge and her husband created the Kess Nsona Foundation to support scholarships, university technology improvement and community projects in Ghana. Aldridge’s own work has had an impact on the field of sociology, for which she received the Charles S. Johnson Award from the Southern Sociological Society in 2006.
  • Dr. Asa Yancey, the first African-American doctor at Grady Hospital. He developed the first surgical residency program for African-American physicians in the state of eorgia. In 1973, Yancey was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Asa G. Yancey Health Center, part of the Grady Healthcare System, honors him and is located in northwest Atlanta.
  • Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsop, the first African American woman to attend in Emory’s School of Medicine earning an MD in 1972; and is today at the forefront of developmental disabilities research. As director of the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Yeargin-Allsopp’s path breaking research recently earned her the Arnold J. Capute Award, sponsored by the Council on Children with Disabilities, recognizing “a physician who has made notable contributions to the health and well-being of children with disabilities through service and/or advocacy at the local, state, or national level.” Her findings have been used in a variety of ways, including providing a basis for the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that all infants undergo a hearing screening. A growing network of eleven surveillance sites is implementing her methods across the country.

The First Blacks of Emory project was curated and researched by Kevin Satterfield (‘15C) in collaboration with Dr. Pellom McDaniels III of the African American Studies department and MARBL (Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library). EBSU is extremely grateful for their selfless contributions to our space through research. 

We salute the individuals above and many others.  *As information becomes available we will update our records.  Please contact EBSU Co-Advisor, Marlon Gibson at m.gibson@emory.eduwith any questions, updates, or concerns.

The Emory Black Student Union Advisory Board is the governing body for the space.  The board consists of faculty/staff positions, graduate student positions, student leaders from each Black undergraduate student organization, undergraduate and graduate student at large positions, the EBSU Intern team and representatives from the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA). The advisory board agrees to serve for the entire academic year. 

Core Partnering Organizations

  • Black Student Alliance (BSA)
  • Black Star Magazine
  • Brothers and Sisters in Christ (BASIC)
  • Brotherhood for Afrocentric Men (BAM)
  • Emory Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Ngambika
  • National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC)
  • African Student Association (ASA)
  • Association of Caribbean Educators and Students (ACES)

The Emory Black Student Union offers comprehensive and exciting intern positions during the fall and spring semester for Emory undergraduate students, as well as some graduate students (if positions are available). The EBSU provides leadership opportunities to enable students to incorporate their passions, talents, and skills to enhance our facility, programming, and services.  If you are an enthusiastic, energetic, thought leader, empowered to create change, you may be a perfect fit for the EBSU Intern Team.  

We offer several unique EBSU Intern positions, which are not renewed from year to year. If you want to be consider for the position in subsequent years, you must reapply during open-enrollment in the spring.  The application process begins the week prior to spring break.

Intern Positions

 The EBSU employs a team of eight student interns to herald and embody the EBSU’s Mission and Vision.  Each position is interconnected with the others.  We are seeking team oriented, self-motivated, and purpose driven individuals.  Work-study students are highly preferred. Learn more about the position descriptions here.

Application Process

To be consider for an intern position, you must complete an EBSU Intern Application as well as email the following documents to ebsu@emory.edu.  Your subject line should state, "EBSU Intern Application."

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume or CV
  • 3 Professional References

All application materials must be submitted by March 22, 2016 by 11:59 PM .

If you have any questions please email us at EBSU@emory.edu.

605 Asbury Circle, DUC E206

Email: ebsu@emory.edu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEBSU

Twitter: @TheEBSU

Campus Life Advisors

Jason Wallace, CSLCE Student Involvement, jkwallace@emory.edu

Megan Pendleton, Ctr for Adv of Std Advocacy, megan.pendleton@emory.edu

EBSU Interns

Sariyah Benoit, 18C  Sariyah.n.benoit@emory.edu | Outreach and External Affairs Intern   
Casidy Campbell, 16C  ccamp24@emory.edu | Senior Student Staff Administrator
Dyan Lofton, 16C | EBSU Reservations & Logistics Intern | dyan.lofton@emory.edu
River  Bunkley, 18C  rbunkle@emory.edu | Social Media/ Communications Manager
NaVosha Copeland, 16C  navosha.copeland@emory.edu | Historian and Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA) Liaison
Jasmyn Mackell, 17C  jasmyn.k.mackell@emory.edu | Internal Programming Intern
Marissa Bertrand, 17C  marissa.bertrand@emory.edu | Community Programming Intern
Brandon Neath, 19C BNEATH@emory.edu | Resource and Space Manager

Support EBSU programming by making a gift to the Campus Life Fund for Excellence