Black Union finds success in first semester

Students+and+advisors+of+the+Black+Union+gather+for+a+group+picture+before+their+meeting.

Jenny Andersen

Students and advisors of the Black Union gather for a group picture before their meeting.

A new club at North has officially begun its pilot phase. The Black Union is one of the newest clubs at North. Similar to Latinos Stand Up, Black Union, also known as BU, aims to involve the entire black community at Grayslake North.

The club means many different things to all its members, but one consistent theme is that the BU is a place for the black students to feel comfortable amongst themselves and to evoke change.
The Black Union has already collected a wide student base, with members like Jamon Thomas, Tony Hines, Brian Kenebrew, Zaire Knight, Pelleoun Washington, and more.
“I found out about Black Union from my black friends at school, and since then it has become pretty important to me,” said senior Jamon Thomas. “It’s important for the black kids at school to have unity, and it’s fun to sit around and chat with my boys. I feel some of the bigger leaders in Black Union are Brian Kenebrew and Pelleoun Washington. I really want the group to get more well-known and to build until we have every black kid at the meetings.”
Junior Zaire Knight would consider himself and his brother senior Brian Kenebrew to be some of the main people in BU.
“I feel that BU has so much potential, and it feels like family to me,” Knight said. “We have big goals and ambitions. We are looking forward to what BU will look like in the future.”
BU is sponsored by Jenny Andersen, Amy Fitzgerald, Dawn Deacon, and Joe Alger.
“The idea first emerged in September from conversations about racial experiences at school,” Andersen said. “Black students wanted to share their experiences as black people in the school and to share ideas on how to change and improve the school experience for black students. The students realized we needed a space to do that work, and the idea of a Black Union formed. In just three short months, BU has come from an idea to a fully formed, regularly meeting pilot club with an official agenda, logo, and a picture in the yearbook this year. The BU has many leaders, but our future plans include electing an executive board, working to help hire more staff of color, celebrating and honoring minority staff, and outreach and education to the school community on the experience of our black students,” Andersen said. “We have many goals, including working to create a more racially equitable school, providing affinity space for black students, and working to create a more racially diverse staff. I chose to sponsor BU because racial equity is an important value to me. When students said they wanted to form this club, I knew I wanted to help support in any way I could. To me BU means strength, family, and equity. We support each other, love each other, and push ourselves and our communities to be radically inclusive.”
BU is a powerful up and coming club, and although its name is Black Union, anyone who wants to be a part of the family is welcome to come.