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GHHS Black Student Union is Spreading Awareness about Black History Month

The Black Student Union (BSU) is helping spread awareness to Gig Harbor High School (GHHS) students about Black History Month during February. The student group created a leadership wall of inspiring Black role models in the library and hung posters all around the school, and they are sharing Black history, accomplishments and inspirational quotes in the school’s daily announcements, to help create a more inclusive environment at GHHS. 

The BSU includes about 30 diverse students from different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. Student Leila J. helped create the group last year, with another student who has graduated and adviser GHHS Art Teacher Alyse Yeaman. Leila said the group is a safe space, where everyone is accepting and supportive. 

“This is like family to me,” Leila said. “Everyone in this group is so understanding of what it is like to not always be treated well. We are a very diverse group, which means we have a lot of collaboration with different experiences coming together.” 

James joined the group three months ago and said it has been a great opportunity to be around people with similar ideas and goals.

“It’s a chance for me to learn more about Black history and for others to be aware of and understand it,” said James. “We’re creating Black history right now.”

Volunteer Thelma Brown is a former school principal, teacher and counselor and mentor to students in the group. She encourages the students and helps them with projects to increase awareness about diversity to the entire school. 

“We are a society of many different races and we have to live together,” Thelma said. “We need to come together and respect each other, support each other, be kind and have compassion. A smile goes a long way, and you open the door for people to find out about each other.”

At the February 1 meeting, Peninsula High School students Prince C., Micah H. and Mana S.  joined to get ideas as they created their own Black Student Union. Prince moved to the district in 6th grade and said his parents encouraged him to start a group at PHS, which he expects they will launch this month. 

GHHS students Aspen G. and Ezra H. were making plans to reach out to their former middle schools about launching Black Student Unions. They want all students to have a group where they can feel safe, included and find a space where they do not feel alone.

As a finale to the month, the GHHS BSU is bringing in community leader Carol Mitchell from the Institute for Black Justice, to speak at their February 29 meeting. Read more about Carol at instituteforblackjustice.org/about-us.

“This is a place where I am understood by my peers, and where my voice is heard and other people’s voices can be heard,” student Sully F. said.

2024 Black History Month - GHHS Black Student Union

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