Point Park Globe

BSU in Paradise

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BSU members participate in art therapy during the pop-up paradise event.

BSU members participate in art therapy during the pop-up paradise event.

Photo by MaryAnne Doggett | For The Globe

Photo by MaryAnne Doggett | For The Globe

BSU members participate in art therapy during the pop-up paradise event.

Written By Kelsey Wolfe

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Relaxation was the goal at the Pop-Up Paradise hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU) on March 28. The organization turned the second floor of the Students Center into a college student paradise filled with painting, massages, yoga and, of course, free food.

“This event is really just here to just give people peace in the middle of just a stressful semester,” Anita Thomas, BSU president and senior acting major, said. “It’s our gift to the community and to the school in general. We just want to make sure that they know that we care.”

One of the events of the evening was an “art therapy” session provided by Jonesse Davis of MangosCoconuts. Students were given a small canvas and instructed in painting a sunset scene fit with palm trees in the foreground.

“After having all the stress of tests and everything, you got to find ways to calm yourself down and relax,” Davis said. “Self-care is really important. It helps you get through life.”

While painting, students were able to grab food from the B.B. Curvey booth at the Pop-Up Paradise. B.B. Curvey, which is run by Brandi Law, makes natural home-cooked meals without processed food that is locally sourced in Pittsburgh. During the event, Law instructed students in healthy meal-prep options.

“Basically, I’m trying to give the college students the opportunity to get healthy food, so they don’t always have to eat processed,” Law said.

The evening was concluded with a yoga session led by Ashley Baptiste, co-founder of MangosCoconuts and Davis’s sister. The sisters created MangosCoconuts as an organization focused on holistic self-care, sharing their skills in yoga and art as well as selling products that fit their brand identity.

The organization anticipated turnout for the event to be around 20-30 people overall, but Thomas said that throughout the evening they had over 40 people come and go.

“We’re really surprised by the turnout, and were really happy with the turnout as well,” Thomas said. “We’re really glad that a lot of people came out so they can be impacted and changed and hopefully more peaceful and loving because of this.”

BSU’s next event will take place April 12. The organization is inviting the rest of Point Park’s student body to join them at their soul food dinner. Entrance into the dinner costs $3 per person.

“Sometimes it’s nice to go home and have that at-home feeling,” vice president of BSU and senior human resource management major Alannah Owens said. “So we just wanted to bring that to campus and have a soul food dinner.”

According to Owens, BSU has been working to be more active on campus recently and create a sense of unity at Point Park for everyone. 

“BSU is here for a safe space for minorities, like African Americans,” Owens said. “But in general we’re here for unity for everybody here.”

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