by Ahjahnae LaQuer, Staff Writer
As a follow-up to their “African American Women in Politics” event in February, the Morgan State University chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. invited Baltimore mayoral candidate and Morgan State alumna Sen. Catherine E. Pugh to speak to students on Thursday.
The senator spoke of the triumphs and tribulations that led up to her current position in the state senate as well her decision to run for mayor for a second time after losing to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake years ago. She also reflected on the death of Freddie Gray last April and her involvement in the uprising.
“Every day reminded me of the neglect that had happened to this city,” Pugh said. “What people were seeing was a part of our city that had been neglected for decades.”
Pugh was relaxed in her speech and, unlike the last event, this one provided students with a one-on-one conversation with the senator. She didn’t use a microphone and was really adamant about letting students know that greatness does and can come out of Morgan.
The event was organized by the former president of the fraternity, Matthew Reeds in conjunction with current president Terrod Roberts. One of the founders of the fraternity, Frank Coakley, was also in attendance.
Reeds stated before the event that his intentions were for Pugh’s story to be an inspiration to students.
“I think what students should take away from it is to especially gain inspiration from Senator Catherine Pugh, to know that it’s possible to be in the senate and it’s possible to have done all the things she’s accomplished as a Morgan alum and really give inspiration to Morgan students,” Reeds said.
According to Roberts, it’s Pugh’s “down to earth” personality that makes her a good fit to be the next mayor of Baltimore.
Pugh said that she hopes that women will take away from the event “that you have to stick to your goals and your vision and if you really want something and you work hard at it, you can get it”.
“I think that the biggest thing I took away [from the event] is, don’t let previous experiences hold you back from chasing your dreams,” said MSU student Alexandria Maloney.