Welcome to Appalachian State University's Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA)

Vision statement:

To empower ourselves and those who are around us to leave Appalachian better than the way they found it.


 2019-2020 BFSA Officers

Cara Hagan Gelber

Associate Professor of
Dance Studies

Antonio Austin

Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Office of Campus Activities 

Aftynne Cheek
Assistant Professor of Special Education

Stacey Garrett
Assistant Professor of Higher Education




Black Faculty and Staff Members


To the students of Appalachian:  The Black Faculty and Staff Association stands with you.  While we honor and value each individual’s First Amendment right, we do not condone words that incite hate or inspire fear.  We reject any suggestion that Privilege is not real.  We reject any suggestion that the color of your skin makes you a thug or mentally incapable. We reject any suggestion that perceived immigration status or nationality makes you a criminal.  We reject any suggestion that your sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression should be defined by societal expectations.  We reject any suggestion that “E pluribus unum” and “multiculturalism” are mutually exclusive.  WE STAND WITH YOU.


We share the same sense of shock, hurt, disbelief, and sadness at the violent, public, almost weekly slayings of black and brown bodies.  Yet, we will not bow our heads—and neither should you.  We acknowledge that our justice system is unjust and must be fixed.  We echo the words of Jesse Williams, “A system built to divide, impoverish, and destroy us cannot stand if we do.” And, students, WE STAND WITH YOU.  


We understand that many are frightened, feel unheard, and are tired of the many injustices witnessed every day.  Know that the Black Faculty and Staff Association is committed to uplifting, supporting, and protecting our black and brown community.  When we see you in the hallways, on the sidewalks, in the classrooms, in the residence halls, or on the street, allow us to reach out to you; allow us to encourage you; and, allow us to remind you that you are valued, you are worthy, and you are capable.  WE STAND WITH YOU.


You are the solution.  We encourage you to use the University’s processes by reporting bias incidents (https://bias.appstate.edu) and filing complaints through the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance, Office of Student Conduct, and directly to senior administration.  Let your voices be heard. Define and shape University, state, and national policies through informed voting.  APPALACHIAN STUDENTS, WE STAND WITH YOU!


Contact us at: BFSA@appstate.edu