UAlbany Student Association president on mission to change race relations

October 19, 2017 06:32 PM

ALBANY - The best way to change race relations in this country is to start on college campuses. That's what Jerlisa Fontaine, the new president of the Student Association at the University at Albany, believes. She's the first woman to be elected Student Association president in 17 years and the first African American woman.


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Fontaine is on a mission to improve race relations and inclusion among the student body on the campus of UAlbany.

Practicing what she preaches, she's been a member of numerous student groups since coming here from the Bronx as a freshman. She thinks joining one prepares you to be a success not only in school, but out into a diverse society.

This as the nation grapples with race relations. Last year, the campus had its own racial divide after three black female students said they were attacked by whites on a bus. Two of the women were convicted of falsely reporting a hate crime.

That student body did something else to prove it can come back from that polarizing event, it elected "Ju Ju" as her friends call her, as the first female African American Student Association president.

Fontaine credits her involvement in student clubs and of course social media.

Then, there's her bubbly, infectious personality.

Don't think Fontaine will take all her skills and head into politics. She's studying to become an obstetrician.


More information:

UAlbany: Jerlisa "Ju Ju" Fontaine



WNYT Staff

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