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Image from a 1983 welcome back cookout by the Black United Students

Pictured: NKU Minority Affairs Welcome Back Cookout and Black United Students

During the early 1980s, the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) emerged as a result of the need for a sense of community as well as the necessity to encourage and uplift the approximately nine African American employees and eighty African American students on a campus of about 5,000 people. As noted by Michael Mimms, a founding member of BFSA, “…during these years, I, like most Black American faculty, staff, and students, often eat lunch alone and . . . [went] right home after work.” As a result, he further noted that after meeting regularly with Dr. W. Neal Sampson, who, at the time was an Academic Advisor and “the office” of “Minority Student Affairs,” the idea of the established of an African American led and centered organization gradually developed.
Three photos of students gathered at BFSA meetings from the 1990's

Pictured: Photos from BFSA meeting in the early '90s

BFSA meeting from the early 1990s

Pictured: BFSA meeting from the early 1990s

Thus, after researching similar organizations, such as one at the University Cincinnati and the University of California, Irvine, a small but determined group of African American faculty, staff, and students, help to establish, on May 23, 1988, the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), which quickly was approved by NKU President Dr. Leon Boothe. The original Executive Office were: Michael Mimms (President); Dr. W. Neal Simpson (Vice President); Jim Wilson (Parliamentarian); Beverly Burton (Secretary); and Leah Alexander (Treasurer).

Some of the other original members included Albert Burton, Vanessa Johnson, Aurora Jackson, Dr. Rosetta Mauldin, and Dr. Michael Washington. The original constitution proclaimed, “The purpose of the Black Faculty and Staff Association shall be to facilitate and influence educational, administrative, and personnel policies that affect the welfare of the black members of Northern Kentucky University.”