FAU’s First BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Organization

BLISSS, a new student organization, focuses on creating a safe space for the BIPOC and the LGBTQIA+ community.


BLISSS members and students during their Halloween Ball event on Fall 2022 Semester. Courtesy of BLISSS.

Tabatha Connor, Contributing Writer

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the spelling of Duna Dumas and pronouns of Jesse Bellevue.

Florida Atlantic University is known as one of the most diverse public universities in Florida, but it lacks representation of Black or Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and the LGBTQIA+ community. A recently formed organization seeks to change that.

BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Individuals Seeking Safe Spaces (BLISSS) formed in May 2022 with the goal of providing a safe space for people within these communities. 

Noadia Lindor (she/they), a junior majoring in social work with a minor in sociology, is a founding member and president of BLISSS, and was inspired by the Counseling and Psychological Services’ (CAPS) BIPOC LGBTQIA+ support group.

“We wanted to recreate the space that we had in group for other people who probably don’t have the opportunity on campus,” said Lindor.

Noadia Lindor, founding member and president of BLISSS. Courtesy of BLISSS.

Students can become members of BLISSS by filling out the membership form and paying a $20 fee. 

The organization hosts social events on campus, such as game night and karaoke night. They want to include everyone regardless of identity and make a more inclusive environment. That includes making sure people are using the correct pronouns and addressing everyone properly regardless of their identity.

Duna Dumas (she/they), a senior majoring in neuroscience and behavior, was the outreach coordinator for BLISSS duting the Fall 2022 semester. She stated that the organization is not limited to these two communities and welcomes anyone who would like to join in.

“We don’t like to exclude anyone, we want everyone to have a safe space and feel included because we know how it feels to not be afforded the space to be free,” said Dumas.

Other events they have hosted are paint and sip, eat better and live better, short films festivals and a halloween ball.

Jesse Bellevue (they/she), a junior double majoring in marketing and hospitality, is the public relations chair for BLISSS and understands the struggle of finding your identity growing out into a new environment.

“You used to be listening to other people and what they tell you to be, but as an adult, especially away from your family and the people that you used to know, you are just starting to figure out yourself,” said Bellevue.

Lindor shares that the executive board has the goal of interacting with members and receiving  input from them to create a good relationship with each other.

BLISSS regular meetings are on Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., but they have not yet announced their first meeting for the Spring 2023 semester. They are also looking for a new outreach coordinator. 

For more information in regards to their membership and resources visit their website or Instagram.

Tabatha Connor is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this story or others, email [email protected].