The Seattle Prep Panther

Black Student Union Spreads Solidarity, Justice

Students+stage+a+mock+protest+during+the+Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+Assembly.+The+assembly+was+planned+by+the+Seattle+Prep+Black+Student+Union.
Students stage a mock protest during the Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly. The assembly was planned by the Seattle Prep Black Student Union.

Students stage a mock protest during the Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly. The assembly was planned by the Seattle Prep Black Student Union.

Katie Bruce

Katie Bruce

Students stage a mock protest during the Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly. The assembly was planned by the Seattle Prep Black Student Union.


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When Nailah Patrick, BSU president, walked up to the podium at Prep’s celebration of Martin Luther King, she delivered a much-needed truth bomb to the 700 students sitting in the gym. Patrick repeated the insensitive comments often heard through the halls of the school. Comments like “Can I touch your hair?” or “Aren’t Asians supposed to be smart?”.  Students were shocked and rooted to the spot. “Although it might have been hard to hear, it needed to be said.” Patrick’s speech emphasized the need for diversity and respect, a message can often go unheard at Prep, where only 30% (don’t know actual statistic—will get) of students are of color. When asked when she hears these comments, Patrick said “Everyday. I’m so used to hearing it that I don’t pick it up as much anymore.” 

The Black Student Union, one of the diversity groups at Prep, deals with these issues every day. Through bringing in guest speakers, celebrating their culture and providing support, BSU plays an important role on campus. “BSU serves as a place where students can connect with one another and talk about important issues” says vice-president Taryn Looney, “It’s a way to have support and be there for each other”.  Despite this, many students are quick to question why there is a BSU, or why there is no white student union. To this, Patrick says: “It is a predominantly white school- Seattle Prep is the white student union.” Because of this, students might only be exposed to one kind of culture. When Patrick talks about making our community a more welcoming place for minorities, she says it is all about one thing. Informing yourself and exposing yourself to perspectives different from yours. “It’s not the minorities’ job to educate Caucasians. If you want to know and become less ignorant, educate yourself.”

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Black Student Union Spreads Solidarity, Justice