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African American Student Leadership Conference comes to Fresno

Daniel Clark, Copy Editor

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On February 14, Edison’s Black Student Union sponsored a trip to the 2017 African American Student Leadership Conference. This annual conference brings together Black students from around the Valley in celebration of Black culture and history, with a focus on the future of Black communities in schools.

 

More than 1,000 students attended this year’s conference, whose theme was “Being the Change We Were Destined to Be”. This theme was explored in workshops, a keynote speech from community leaders Bernard, Shirley, and Khalil Kinsey, and a college and career fair in which 27 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were represented.

 

Asked about the purpose of the conference and events like it, BSU member and conference attendee Chrysta St. James (11) said: “It’s to inform people about African American history and to empower African Americans as a whole.” On the subject of the importance of the conference, she highlighted the political context in which it occurred: “It’s very important with […] a lot of the stuff going on. We need to realize… [that] people give Black people a bad name, but there’s a lot of good about us.”

 

She also invoked the future of such conferences: “I feel like every culture and every race should have some type of club [akin to BSU].” Edison’s BSU sent “about 30” of the thousand students present. In the future, St. James and other members of the BSU wish to see their membership grow. Hopefully conferences like these will shed light on the purpose and activities of the club and draw in more members.

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