Butler’s Black Student Union makes a difference in our community

Ryland Bethel, Student Reporter

A high school experience isn’t complete without joining clubs or a sports team. There are many options to choose from based on your interests. Here at Butler Traditional High School, there is a club called the Black Student Union (BSU).

“The mission and philosophy of the Black Student Union organization is to help students strive for academic excellence, promote positive images of African Americans and help students become an integral part of a school community,” according to Butler’s website. 

The teacher representative for BSU is Karen Henderson, a Humanities teacher at the school, who has helped grow the BSU community for years now and was the one who helped start a BSU at Butler. 

Henderson had much to say about why she started the BSU club at Butler:

“I think it’s a fundamental program that needs to be in all schools. It helps bridge the gap between racial issues because sometimes kids don’t understand another person’s point of view because they’re not in your skin. So, if you could see someone else’s point of view by talking it out in a controlled environment, it can… stop some of the fights, disagreements, and extra things that happen in the school or in society as a whole just by talking civilly to one another.”

Karen Henderson is a Humanities teacher at Butler Traditional High School and also the sponsor for the BSU club.

Henderson went on to describe the club’s purpose by saying, “The overall purpose is to let everyone have a voice, to share ideas, to help build the Black and Brown community in the school and in Shively.”

Everyone within the Butler community has the opportunity to join the organization. Several students have joined BSU already, each for their very own reason. Here are a few student perspectives of BSU:

Jada Williams (Senior):

“I decided to join BSU because I felt like I wanted to be a part of the community that they already had there. I just felt like I would fit in well. It’s something that I need at a time like this. BSU is special to me because I feel like it’s Black Student Union and I’m a part of the Black community, so I feel like it’s just special to me because I’ve always wanted to be a part of something like that, something so big and family-like!”

Jada Williams is a senior at Butler Traditional High School and a member of BSU.

Emily Carey (Senior):

“I decided to join BSU because I felt like there was a greater community in Butler. I just didn’t know where to turn and BSU was that place for me to turn to, to find my community and my people. What makes BSU special to me is that we can all come together and share our thoughts and… we can put out a great product. We can all come together, bring all of our ideas together and get something great out of it. It’s a community! I think that’s what makes it special to me.”

Brionna Readus (Senior):

“I decided to join BSU because I wanted to be part of a growing community that resembles me and can relate the most with me. I feel that if you have a stronger connection to your roots and people, it can really motivate you to make a positive impact in what you do for your surrounding community and world in general. BSU has a special place in my heart because that’s where I expanded on my awareness in the world. It has morphed my purpose into uplifting peers that look like me along with making an impact on my community.”

These student accounts show that people have a bond with the BSU community and that each and every person has a purpose they want to fulfill while being a part of it.

The BSU community is more than students discussing important topics amongst each other. It is a strong, loving community—a family of people that want to make a difference in their community. 

The club has tons of planned events in order to make those changes in the community happen. These events include a trunk-or-treat, clothing drives, food drives, creating holiday baskets, etc. 

The community will become a greater place as the BSU club at Butler strives to complete their overall goal of creating a wonderful and safe environment for everyone.