Student-led Equity Work: North Creek's Black Student Union

Leaders from North Creek's Black Student Union

Pictured from left to right in the photo above: Tiyana Ogunyoku (BSU Secretary), Madison Roland (BSU Vice President), Shakti Cross (BSU President), Pamela Burgos (BSU Social Media and Communications Executive), and Christina Hanna (BSU Treasurer)

North Creek High School’s Black Student Union (BSU) Board has done some excellent work in setting goals, thinking about what it means to be student leaders, and building community in their club since it started last spring.

This group of equity and justice-driven leaders understands the responsibility of being in such positions and strives to keep a welcoming environment for any student who wants to join the club. Both Ogunyoku and Hanna came to North Creek from other states and reflected on the positive impact that the BSU has had on them. Ogunyoku shared that joining the club helped her connect with students that shared similar experiences and reflected her racial background. Hanna explained, “When I first came here in October, I didn’t really know a lot of people. When I met Shakti, she said, ‘How about you join the BSU?’…and I said I’ll join because it will kind of make me feel like I’m at home.”

The BSU Board is also committed to a mission that empowers and amplifies the voices of the students in the club. Cross stated, “This year we have something we’re striving toward and I hope we can get there soon because I want to get to a place where everyone believes in themselves and pushes themselves even further. I think we’re slowly but surely getting there.”

Some of the goals they have set with and for all students in the club this year are to cultivate a safe space and sense of belonging, foster positive identity development, build community, consistently post to their Instagram page as a way to educate and connect with the school community, take field trips, plan events, and bring in guest speakers. They are all in agreement that if they could fulfill their biggest dream, they would love to take all club members on a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This is a group of student leaders who are driven, passionate, deliberate, and already making a difference in and beyond their club. They are a great reminder that our students are already embodying what it means to be an agent for change.

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