Community members stand on behalf of BSU to solve racism within D219


D219 community members spoke at the board meeting on Jan 10, 2023 reemphasizing what  Niles North and Wests BSU (Black Student Union) called to attention on Dec 6, 2020. 

For many years now, there have been issues with racism within the D219 schools. These issues have been brought up and called out many times however are still not being resolved. After an emotional and strong stand from students who have been directly impacted by these racist issues were once again ignored, community members decided to stand up next.

Ten people stood up to make public comments once again to the board. Seven out of the ten speakers’ topic of conversation was the racism within D219 schools affecting black and brown students.

Although each speech varied, a lot of the same issues kept being brought up, how students stood in front of the board begging for something to be done about racism but have still been ignored. 

The speakers also reiterated solutions BSU students had suggested such as another equity officer in the school, mandatory hate speech training for staff so they know how to respond when issues come up, mandatory hate speech courses for freshman to learn about the consequences of harmful language, and addressing the racism brought by staff members that has still not be dealt with.

Complaints on racism within the D219 district are not new and have been around many years, the stand BSU members took on Dec 6, 2020 was done with the hope these issues would finally be resolved. Having adults speak again on behalf of BSU shows although racism is being talked about and known about, still nothing is being done to fix it.

“When I learned that a group of parents had gathered together and were going to show up at the next board meeting to stand in solidarity with the D219 BSUs, I was very surprised and also touched,” BSU member Joanna Eaddy said. “It’s super important that the board is aware that the anti-blackness we face at school is a very real and serious issue that needs to be addressed. It isn’t just seen by us Black students, it is a very known and prevalent issue, so seeing so many adults stand with us, support us, and amplify Black voices, really confirmed that I had done the right thing attending the board meeting last month.”