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Student Club Spotlight: BSA

By: Ashlyn Kafer

Wheaton North offers a variety of different clubs, many clubs allowing for the use of student voices or to build communities among students who share a common medium. The Black Student Alliance (BSA) is one of these clubs, encouraging the black students of Wheaton North to come together. This week, I attended a BSA meeting to investigate the fundamentals and importance of the Black Student Alliance.

The club is run by sponsors Ms. Asgedom, Ms. Gina, Ms. Morgan, and Mr. Rollins (who, unfortunately, was not at the meeting I attended) and is held every other Thursday in the Resource Center. I was welcomed into a room with many moving parts, each person responsible for a gear in an ever-working machine. The attendees had much to plan as the club is holding and sponsoring many events for Black History Month to memorialize the history of black lives across the world. Between preparing for overhead announcements and a powerful group project, the members had much to balance. When asked what the club was about, President Miyar Elamin (11th) and Secretary Helena Nur (11th) said that the “Black Student Alliance is a club at Wheaton North that projects black excellence and acts as a safe space for black students.” From my short time with the members, I could see exactly that. To build into the meaning of their future projects, Ms. Asgedom read a beautifully said story entitled “The House that Crack Built” by Clark Taylor, detailing the lives built for black Americans by the system. This reading was shortly followed by an adaptation of the story written by Ms. Morgan, entitled “The House that Equity Built” which was a moving story to project black excellence onto the members of BSA and, eventually, beyond. When asked about the impact that BSA has on Wheaton North, Vice President Amma Mamyo (11th) noted that it “gives black voices a platform and a place to be who they are.” My experience was further heightened by my time with the sponsors of the club, who answered some questions I had about the importance of remembering Black History.

When I sat down with Ms. Asgedom, Ms. Morgan, and Ms. Gina, I wanted to be able to have an open conversation. We talked of important figures and events pertaining to Black History, and also hopes for the future. Ms. Morgan mentioned the importance of the “golden rule,” and that she hopes for everyone to treat others the way they want to be treated. I also asked who some important black figures throughout the world were to them. They mentioned Nelson Mandela, John Louis, and Harriet Tubman. Though what stuck out to me the most was that they mentioned how often the most important black figures in society are the people closest to us, which is why BSA is so important. The club not only recognizes the triumphs of black people of the past, but the victories to come in the future. This club also does not only run during the month of February, but all year round. Through that is an important message to be had; the history of black Americans goes beyond one month of the year, and through the BSA, we as a school can support the future of black America all year round.

Lastly, the BSA is holding several events for the month of February. Including music from black creators on Friday and color spirit days (Red, Green, Yellow, Black) every Thursday, these events are open to all students and encourage all students to attend.

February 16th, at 2:20 in the Taylor Auditorium will be an Open Mic Night.

February 23rd, throughout the day, the library will host the Black History Month Festival.

February 24th, in the Taylor Auditorium will be a Black History Month Assembly.

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