It’s no secret that Black women have been known to break barriers and make history. This week that became even more clear as Danielle Geathers has been elected the first Black woman to lead as student body president at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to Because of Them We Can.
The college sophomore and mechanical engineering major made her mark on MIT after winning the recent school election for president of the undergraduate association.
“Someone asked if the UA president was a figurehead role [during the debate]. I think no, but minimally, a black female in that role will squash every perception that MIT is still mostly white and male,” Geathers told the school’s paper, The Tech, Because of Them We Can reports. “Minimally, the immediate image of that will make MIT a more welcoming and inclusive place.”
Together, Geathers and Chen created a balanced platform that represents unity, equity, and authenticity in the student body. On their website, they amplified their mission that gives a platform and voice to minorities within the student body.
“Our leadership increased accessibility to student resources on campus and levied student concerns to administration, ranging from the Burton Conner transition to the search for the new Institute Community and Equity Officer,” they wrote in a statement. “Our impact spans from creating MIT’s first and only black women recruiting initiative to pioneering MIT representation at America’s largest Asian American student advocacy conference.”
Before running for office, Geathers created the “Talented Ten,” a program that focuses on increasing applications and enrollment among Black women at MIT by pairing high school juniors with current students.
“I have created the Talented Ten because I understand the value that black females bring to campus while also understanding the tremendous loss the MIT community experiences when a qualified, underrepresented minority student chooses to not enroll,” she said in a statement.
Geathers’ next mission as student body president is focusing on pushing MIT to become a place where all students can receive the institutional support they need to thrive at the elite institute.