BHS’s Black Student Union During the Pandemic

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What’s up Berkeley High School (BHS)! I’m Le’ Onnyi Buckley, a member of BHS’s Black Student Union’s (BSU) Leadership Team, and I want to highlight the importance of continuing to strive for social change during virtual learning and beyond. For years, BHS’s BSU has been widely recognized for its strong passion, activism, and sense of community. Our legacy of empowering and encouraging students to speak out against systems of oppression has allowed current students to see that there is still much more work to be done. With Black people continuously being shut out of so many opportunities, it is essential that we are provided resources and education tailored to our cultural history and how it plays a role in our everyday life. Since this is not something we often cover or discuss in general classes, BSU wants to be a place where students’ history and lived experiences feel respected and represented. 

Due to the reemergence of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer, many students have recognized the urgency of the movement and want to act, but are unaware of how to do so. They may not know which outlets to use, especially now that we’re in distance learning. Because of this, we have expanded our on-campus presence to social media in hopes of involving more students. BSU is now on Twitter and Instagram at @berkeleybsu! This is an exciting addition because we now have many different ways to interact with the BHS community, such as Instagram Lives, account takeovers, vlogs, and so much more! By using these new platforms, we want to expand and engage our community so that students have a set foundation for making change. Since this year is fully virtual, we want to bring life back to the BSU and get our students pumped up! 

While in virtual learning, BSU wants to remain a place that will encourage, uplift, and unite. We feel that it is important that students get creative and make BSU what they want it to be. Due to the drastic changes we’ve been having this year — gih the pandemic while striving for social change — it is essential that we commemorate and honor the resilience and courage BHS students have shown over this period. Lastly, I want to acknowledge the courage and resilience displayed by youth of color all over the nation as we continue to fight systems of oppression; you are appreciated and much needed. Continue to actively be the change you want to see.