Spotlight: Marcus Shaw '20

Marcus Shaw ‘20 is from Boston, MA. When he was looking for colleges he thought it was important to find a school that had opportunities for him to be involved in activism on campus. Since coming to Dartmouth, Marcus has joined The Men of Color Alliance (MOCA), Dartmouth Carribbean Connection (DCC), and is one of the student coordinators for the Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL) under the direction of Dean Rachel Edens in Black Student Advising. He says his time at Dartmouth has been spent “finding [his] space here and helping other students find theirs so they can live freely.” He has spent much of his time at Dartmouth programming large events for students of color. As a student coordinator for OPAL, Marcus is currently working toward planning for Black Legacy Month, most notably, the speakeasy event on February 23rd. For this event, he has worked on celebrating Black art by bringing in performers and showcasing student work. He has advocated for the event by applying for SPEC funding and reaching out to the visiting artists. These experiences have been worthwhile for Marcus because he has been able to think about what it means to be Black on campus and how to fight for presence in the community.

“I love seeing my events come together…When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing, but at the end when I brought it together it was awesome. It was everything I had dreamed of.”

During his Freshman year, Marcus also got involved with MOCA and DCC. He has now taken on leadership roles in both of these organizations. For DCC, Marcus is instrumental in planning Caribbean Carnival that will take place in the Spring Term. Last year, Marcus says, “it was just great to see black students having fun. Sometimes Dartmouth can be not so fun for us...hopefully this event was liberating for other Black students.”

Marcus’s commitment to serving the Dartmouth community is not constrained to the 10 week quarter. Before the start of fall term, Marcus ended his summer early and served as a member of the Orientation Team because he wanted to set himself up as a resource for students coming into campus and learning how to find their place at Dartmouth. He remembers mentoring a student during orientation week who was interested in creating a magic club.  Marcus helped the student get connected to the resources he needed and the student was able to have his first performance this quarter. In the future, Marcus hopes to help create a Black students orientation for first years to foster unity within the Black community on campus.

Last year, Marcus won the William S. Churchill award for the outstanding male member of the freshman class. Check out Marcus’ events this term at the Black Legacy Month Speakeasy on February 23rd, and the Caribbean Carnival in the Spring.


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