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Mr. FSU creates Fayetteville Leaders Initiative for Black students

The Fayetteville Observer logo The Fayetteville Observer 9/23/2022 Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon, The Fayetteville Observer
Issiah McLean, Fayetteville State University's 28th Mr. FSU, is a senior majoring in criminal justice with a minor in criminology. © Contributed Issiah McLean, Fayetteville State University's 28th Mr. FSU, is a senior majoring in criminal justice with a minor in criminology.

Mr. Fayetteville State University created a student-led initiative, specifically designed to assist students of color.

In January, Issiah McLean, 22, a senior majoring in criminal justice with a minor in criminology, created the Fayetteville Leaders Initiative.

“Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and brown communities through consumer education, self-empowerment, career advancement and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of young leaders,” said McLean, who hails from Raleigh.

McLean said the initiative strives to accomplish this by working alongside people who are invested in diversifying FSU and bringing new innovative opportunities to the college community.

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The group’s next student event is 4 p.m. Thursday at Fayetteville State University. The event will focus on empowering women of color.

“They will be catering to just an all-women crowd,” he said.

Joy Cook, FSU spokeswoman, said 786 freshmen are enrolled at FSU this year, 537 of which are women.

McLean said due to the high number of freshmen women, the initiative's leaders really want to make them feel included.

Last month, the initiative coordinated a community service event where nearly 100 FSU students and community members provided water to those in need and picked up litter in downtown Fayetteville.

The community service event was a great way for FSU students to take pride in where they come from, he said.

More: Miss and Mr. FSUThe significance of Miss and Mr. Fayetteville State University

As a young Black man, McLean said there’s a huge disparity between African-American people and their white counterparts when it comes to financial and educational opportunities.

He said his biggest passion is assisting Black and brown students through community outreach and career readiness.

Visit https://fayettevilleemerging.wixsite.com/leadersinitiative/selected-work for more information on the Fayetteville Leaders Initiative.

Education reporter Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon can be reached at acastrellon@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Mr. FSU creates Fayetteville Leaders Initiative for Black students

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