Sarah Jarret, a teacher at Edina High School, saw a lack of racially diverse groups at Edina High School, but she had no idea how to bring it up or how to start one. Then in 2014, the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown sparked outrage and protests. A group of students expressed interest in a group and they were connected with Jarrett to start weekly meetings. The Black Student Union became an official school group and meeting attendance is close to 40 students each week.
Eemanna Rivers, who was a senior at EHS in 2015, was one of the first to join, seeing a lack of representation in her school. She says, “It was a feeling like there wasn’t a place for black students, by black students.” Meeting discussion topics include police brutality, gender roles and stereotypes, and possible changes in the school environment. Rivers personally would like to see more staff of color in the coming years.
In May 2015, many BSU members participated in a walkout organized by Youth in Social Justice, where many students from around the southwest metro area met at Martin Luther King Park in Minneapolis in solidarity to discuss relevant issues. Rivers hopes to plan something similar through the BSU in the future.