StarChasers, a group of African-American students who believe in unity and support, together the members develop new ideas that will help bring and motivate their dreams to reality.
Google search the phrase “African American males are most likely,” and you will see the ridiculous degree of negative results. Young African American males are often targeted and stereotyped with discouraging assumptions.
Junior strategic and organizational communication major Na’im Bracey has lived and experienced the stereotypes affecting the black community.
Bracey said he strongly believes that the stereotypes, and unfortunately, the pessimistic statistics are the result of a disconnected community.
“This is a stereotypical theory that is directed towards young black Americans [more] than any other race,” he said.
He suggests that young African American males tend to compete with one another, hoping to succeed and be that expectation – the one who beat the odds.
However, Bracey does not agree with this notion. Instead he has created a movement on campus, StarChasers, in hopes to provide a gateway for young black men who are eager to dispute this label stamped on their generation.
“The significance of StarChasers is pretty much a vision that I came up with,” Bracey said. “I have noticed that in the black community we lack unity and support more than any other race.”
With that belief and his gut instinct, he did not hesitate to take action.
“Since I’m around a lot of young black males who I respect and developed strong bonds with, it was best I start with them to show the message through actions,” he said.
The members of StarChasers work together to develop and support new ideas that will help bring and motivate their dreams to reality.
Last semester, Bracey remembers explaining the idea of StarChasers to his friends who are now members of the board.
“The same meaning I explained to them is still the meaning I explain to others,” Bracey said.
Student and StarChasers member David Allen has known Bracey since high school, said when Bracey first presented the idea of StarChasers, he replied, “Let’s do it!”
Because Allen understood and respected the vision and meaning behind StarChasers he said, “It was easy to buy into it. When it’s presented to you by someone who you believe in and want to support, it makes the decision of being apart of this movement very easy.”
Hasting Coach and Josh Maduro, members of StarChasers, felt similarly.
“When Na’im first came to me with the idea of StarChasers I was all for it. There aren’t many groups coming from Philadelphia that do what we do,” Coach said. “The idea of young men coming together and doing something positive is what made me want to be apart of StarChasers.”
“I loved the idea of what StarChasers was going to be about,” Maduro added. “If we work as hard as we are now, there will be so many opportunities for us.”
The members are working on a documentary highlighting the making of StarChasers and their motto, “Chase what makes you happy.” They plan to have this completed by the end of September.
These young men are the productive faces of the community who originate beneficial, creative and positive public undertakings such as community services and networking events.
Their investors, Vibert Moise, Randy Lightcap, Anthony Dennis and Brian Carter have financially supported them throughout this experience. They said they are extremely grateful and are affiliated with other potential investors at this time.
After the success of the first StarChasers promotion and awareness party held on July 9, Bracey found it beneficial to continue to advertise the brand to Temple peers.
“Our first party was used to build our platform,” Bracey said.
The party’s success has led the group to organize another one – StarChasers Party Part 2 – set for Sept. 17.
Although StarChasers has hosted, and plans to host more parties in the future, Bracey stresses the fact that this brand should not be associated with being a Philadelphia party promoter, but instead, a way to mark their movement.
Bracey has quite a few more events and advertising tactics lined up in addition to the second party.
“We are in the beginning stages of creating a platform,” Bracey said.
Bracey co-hosts Finesse Music, a show on Temple’s student-run radio station, WHIP. He plans to utilize this media platform as another promotional outlet.
Finesse supports upcoming artists in the area by giving their music and message exposure. Blonde Gang was a guest on the show who shares and supports StarChasers’ movement.
“[StarChasers and Blonde Gang] share similarities with the way we market our movements,” Blonde Gang member Plane Walker, said. “[Bracey] was a supporter undoubtedly from the start and the same goes to me. I wish StarChasers luck, and hopefully we can do business sometime soon.”
Bracey has plans to network with other artists and music groups to cross advertise.
During the school year, the members of StarChasers will be handing out free giveaways, such as T-shirts and stickers, so Temple’s campus community will be more familiar with the StarChasers brand and acknowledge the movement.
“A lot of our peers are starting to understand more of the meaning and respecting what we are trying to do,” Bracey said.
Bracey has recently sent a proposal to partner with a representative from Black Student Union to produce a multicultural talent showcase, highlighting the positive messages or concerns students would like to express. It is intended to help improve the global black community. If approved, this on-campus event has been planned to be held in October.
The members have high hopes for this school year and the near future.
Maduro’s focus is “working hard in getting our name out there more.”
Coach believes there will be more supportive people who will understand and be part of their mission.
The impact of this movement is focused around the aspect of being the headline of new ideas. Without support, this goal is unlikely to be reached.
“The growth of StarChasers will always depend on my commitment and the support of the members that I brought on board,” Bracey said. “I never want to see an idea die or become stagnant for a period of time.”
Rachael Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.