WE Celebrate Black History In Colonial

Students at Gunning Bedford made Black History when they established the first middle school Black Student Union (BSU) in the Colonial School District. Arricka Burruss, a 7th-grade teacher, is the BSU’s student advisor. She and two other students launched an interest group in September of 2023.  Since then, the popularity of the BSU has grown.“We have approximately 70 students involved in the club with more students asking to join every day. The main reason I wanted to start the BSU was to give students a safe space to live in their truths. Students would often express how they wanted to learn more about their history and be more involved in the school and the activities that happen here at Gunning Bedford,” she says. Among other things, students in Gunning Bedford’s BSU participate in workshops and community service projects. They meet after school every other week, sometimes to analyze music and movies or to listen to guest speakers. The students also go on cultural field trips, participate in mental health awareness campaigns, and school community discussions. Julian Jones is an active member of BSU who says, “I joined BSU because I wanted to be a part of learning and growing in the black community. I loved how we were able to celebrate our culture and make our presence known during the month of February and through the school daily.”  Rihanna Adedapo agrees saying,  “I joined BSU because I saw it as an opportunity to do something great for my school. I also saw it as a great opportunity to enhance my middle school experience, get involved in the school/community, and learn more about my roots and heritage.”  In the future, the BSU plans to include college and career readiness workshops, unity and social events, along with advocacy initiatives and community outreach. Ms. Burruss looks forward to working with BSU students saying, “Since the creation of BSU, I have noticed more students taking great pride in themselves and the school. The excitement of the students is contagious, to say the least. I always tell my students in the classroom: ‘You create your own destiny!’ and this initial group of students has begun their journey to greatness here at Gunning Bedford.