On Friday, the College of Business Administration celebrated Black History Month with a screening of “The Loyola Project” in partnership with Northwestern Mutual.
The College of Business Administration has promoted UCF’s efforts and urged students to participate in Black History Month festivities, said Jaylen Brown, a finance major and president of UCF’s College of Business Ambassadors.
Brown said he believes that since the death of George Floyd, UCF and the public at large have realized the importance of raising black voices.
“People have definitely opened their eyes,” Brown said. “Everyone wants to celebrate and honor that, and UCF has done a really good job of that.”
“The Loyola Project‘ is a documentary about the 1963 Loyola University Ramblers men’s basketball team and their journey to becoming the first integrated basketball team to win an NCAA championship during the height of the civil rights movement.
The documentary’s production company has partnered with Northwestern Mutual, a financial services organization, to share the film with more than 60 colleges and universities nationwide, said Jonathan Schrader, head of marketing and distribution for “The Loyola project”.
The partnership is part of Northwestern Mutual’s initiative to “support and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in each of the communities it proudly serves,” according to PRNewswire.
Davonte Anderson, a representative for Northwestern Mutual, said he was proud to be part of the process in a speech before the film debuted.
“We believe that sharing this story of race and alliance is the first step towards a better future,” Anderson said. “We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to be better.”
Schrader said Northwestern Mutual has played a vital role in bringing the film to colleges across the country and facilitating important conversations about social justice, equality and civil rights.
“‘The Loyola Project’ meant a lot to the team and to the city of Chicago,” Schrader said. “This is a major moment in the city’s history, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to inspire change at a time when many of the issues discussed in the film are still pervasive today.”
The screening took place in place of the “Diversity Speaker Series” held at The exchange. The exchange, located in the Business Administration Building I, was founded as a hub for students to cultivate ideas and connect students to peers, leaders, and potential employers.
Conducted after the Pulse nightclub shooting, The Exchange’s “Diversity Speaker Series” is a forum for students to better understand the issues and opportunities to become more inclusive and diverse, according to its website.
Brown said the series’ speakers come from a variety of backgrounds to share their personal perspectives and experiences on business-related topics.
“We wanted to bring in a variety of speakers, but we don’t necessarily bring in people to match the theme of each month,” Brown said. “We believe diversity should be celebrated all the time, not just during Black History Month, Women’s History Month, or LGBT History Month.”