Scholarship winner embraces diversity

Published 12:59 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

On a bulletin board in the ARC Quad at Longwood University, students notice layered purple and gold tissue paper, photos of notable people and messages of affirmation, confidence and self-care.

Mikah HoSang

The bulletin board celebrates African-American men and women, based from the hashtags #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy.

Mikah HoSang, of Chesapeake, is the quad’s head resident assistant (RA) and recent recipient of the Longwood 2017 Moton Legacy Scholarship, and he created the poster with residents in the hall.

Email newsletter signup

Other poster boards have included resources regarding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) community and Black History Month.

“I’ve gotten a lot of praise and a lot of positive feedback from just doing those kind of things and having little tidbits of information go around to all of the students who live not only in my building but that come through, (like) guests, or come with their friends and see the boards,” HoSang said.

He has been leading the idea for the bulletin boards and working to embrace and celebrate diversity on campus. He received the scholarship over the summer.

The scholarship is named after the R.R. Moton High School, the site where Barbara Rose Johns led a student-led strike in protest of the inequality of schools for African-Americans.

“It has given me inspiration and the urgency to keep pushing diversity within Longwood so when our residents and Longwood students go throughout Farmville, (we’re) providing a space to promote education and understanding throughout the community,” HoSang said of the impact the Moton story has had on him.

HoSang, who’s set to graduate this spring, is the head RA for the ARC Quad, which includes the Sharp, Register, ARC and Stubbs residence halls on campus.

He said the bulletin boards have created opportunities not just for discussion, but action.

“It’s not just about talking about it or putting it up there, but involving my residents in it, and that’s just been a very fun process,” HoSang said.

HoSang has Jamaican and Asian ancestry. Being biracial has driven HoSang to bridge divides and understand others’ experiences. He hopes to do the same for fellow students, especially incoming students or freshmen.

“Because my father is predominately black and Jamaican and my mother is white, I come from a mixed household,” HoSang said. “I’ve always had that kind of dichotomy between the white culture background and the black culture background. For me personally, it’s always been a struggle with me trying to understand the two sides and kind of blend them … and finding my identity within that.”

“Movements like the #BlackGirlMagic movement are so important because it really highlights the efforts and the achievements of black women in America right now rather than just their color,” HoSang said.

Matt McWilliams, a spokesman for Longwood, noted pride in HoSang’s activity and efforts to embrace diversity.

“In his three years on campus … HoSang has made a distinct impression on campus as he has taken up the mantle of inclusion and equality in conversations and activities with fellow Lancers,” McWilliams said. “He is a bright example of citizen leadership in action.”

HoSang, a kinesiology major, said the scholarship has driven him to continue working on activities that he hopes won’t only extend to students in his building.