The Black Student Alliance at Yale

In 1967 The Black Student Alliance at Yale (B.S.A.Y. or BSAY) was formed to advocate for increased black enrollment, the development of Afro-American Studies, improved relations with the African-American community of New Haven, and the establishment of a cultural center for black students on Yale’s campus. Nearly 50 years later BSAY is continuing this effort by enhancing the lives of all students at Yale through political action, community action, and social events.

The BSAY Board Members are honored to serve the legacy of this historic organization and excited to make a difference at Yale and in the New Haven community.

BSAY hosts a number of signature events including weekly meetings on Tuesday, in the Lighten Room of the AfAm House, and hosts a variety of events (from study breaks and panels, to discussions and mixers). BSAY is also proud to provide, “First Steps, Second Chances”, for individuals effected by the prison system. This semester BSAY is planning many events around Yale-Harvard Weekend, as well many interesting discussions and panels. Check it out on our Facebook or website,, for more details.

Meet the 2013-2014 Board Members of BSAY
Patricia Okonta– President; Patricia is a Kansas City, Missouri native and a junior in Morse College. As an Economics and Political Science double major with a concentration in International Affairs, Patricia hopes to use public policy and law to address international social justice issues.

Jason Lightning – Vice President; Jason is a junior in Davenport from New York City.  Besides BSAY and other house organizations, Jason is the president of Peace of P.E.A.C.E. and plays on the club basketball team.

Micah Jones – Treasurer; Micah Jones was born and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia and is currently a sophomore in Timothy Dwight College. She has two older brothers and volunteers with No Closed Doors, and Squash Haven in addition to recently joining BSAY Board as treasurer.

Tahj Blow – Membership Coordinator; Tahj is a Saybrook Sophomore and prospective Biology major. When not out meeting freshman or going to other House meetings, Tahj loves catching up on the latest music and gaming news, or practicing Chinese Chess”

Kelsey Annu-Essuman– Community Action Chair; Kelsey is from Dallas, Texas and is a sophomore in Calhoun. In addition to serving as BSAY’s Community Action Chair, Kelsey is also involved with Dwight Hall service organizations and Asempa!

Eshe Shirley– Social Justice Chair; Eshe Sherley is a Boston native and a sophomore in TD. She enjoys reading, local politics, and playing rugby for the Yale Women’s Rugby Football Club.

Camille Fonseca– Events Chair; Camille Fonseca is a sophomore in Saybrook college. Outside of BSAY, Cami spends her time collecting cat artifacts, her long term goal is to have 30 cats by the time she’s 30!

Paige Curtis – Publicist; Paige is a sophomore in Pierson College and a perspective Ecology & Evolutionary Bio major. Outside of BSAY, Paige also serves  as a Public School Intern and or the AfAm House as a Peer Liaison!