black student union
Students in Manchester’s Black Student Union gather in the Intercultural Center for a regular Tuesday night meeting. 
Photo provided by Manchester Black Student Union

Pollonais and Black Student Union Empower Black Students

Najma El

Do you want to support students of color? Are you a Black student that needs a place to feel included? Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion Maegan Pollonais has worked hard to create safe spaces for the Black students and their allies at Manchester University.

Pollonais is an Afro-Trini woman and Black African American who double majored in music and sociology in her undergraduate years. She later received a scholarship, allowing her to earn her Doctorate of Arts in educational psychology. As she was “always fascinated with the African American voice,” Pollonais focused her efforts on using music/arts to diminish the achievement gap between Black people/students and everyone else.

After arriving at Manchester, Pollonais realized that Black students wanted more integration in everyday campus activities, so she is pushing for student involvement, continuing groups like Black Student Union for anyone that would like to learn more about the Black experience and history. She has also reached out to successful Black men within the larger community in hope of inspiring the Black men of Manchester, through a program called Brothers Speak out.

Her wish is that Black students are successful during and following their Manchester years. She has partnered with PDIC to create a fund for any Black student that needs help with school and school-related expenses, named the Student of Color fund. She highly encourages students to reach out to her and their success advisors to apply for these grants.

Pollonais also encourages students, especially students of color, to sign up and vote. The deadline for this year’s registration is Oct. 5.

One thing all students can do is help each other to keep the campus safe. That means reporting any biases that experienced on campus. To do this, locate the “Title IX” Quick Link on the Manchester website and click the “Report It!” button.