Black Student Alliance, a place where black students and allies can come together, providing a space of speech and equality. An environment that has become a source of empowerment pushing towards the benefit of all. Senior Jasmine Brown, Founder and current President of BSA, has been operating the club inside the walls of CAPA for two years.
The creation stemmed from the show called “Dear White People”. As Jasmine further explains, “When watching the show with my friends, we looked at each other and were like, ‘How come our school doesn’t have a black student union?’ Many of the issues that they were combating in the show made us realize the issues we also faced at school, so the next day we went around and started getting signatures to start our own BSU.”
Jasmine was able to build the Black Student Union with this simple gesture, eventually transitioning the name to Black Student Alliance to include those who wanted to join but did not feel comfortable doing so before.
From there, the club began working towards making a small difference within CAPA’s culture. “Before I came to CAPA, I went to a school that didn’t teach much but was strong on discipline. So, I didn’t know much when coming to CAPA. Many of the kids in my major would call me stupid and labeled me as really aggressive, which is sad. People assumed things of me and this was something I pushed in BSA meetings. Talking about why these things are important and why they need to change.”
Jasmine expresses that change was the drive. This led to bake sales, fundraisers, and even small fests, such as the Soul Food Fest- a gathering open to all students that showcased a variety of food within the black community. However, it didn’t stop there. BSA has organized food drives to give families, that are within CAPA, meals for the holidays.
The club has since tried to expand in different ways that would further help the people within and beyond CAPA. This led to a call of action from Jasmine. She is now moving towards creating a city-wide BSA community containing all the BSA’s in the Philadelphia School District. She hopes to gain the attention of others outside of Philadelphia to create a bigger change.
“My main objective is to have everyone become a little more class conscious and make sure they realize the things they are saying. I want to push towards people understanding us and being able to have conversations with others on these topics. We need to be able to have a mutual relationship to fight white supremacy” - Jasmine Brown
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