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Waynesboro students create ‘dynamic and inclusive space’ in new Black Student Union

Rebecca Barnabi
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Waynesboro High School has a new student group called the Black Student Union.

“We really try to make it student-led,” said Kendra Jones-Carter, Waynesboro Schools Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity, who is also a co-sponsor of the group.

Jones-Carter and a member of the group spoke before the Waynesboro School Board last week.

“Our goal is to create a dynamic and inclusive space that celebrates Black culture, fosters unity and it advocates for social justice within our school community,” Addison Copeland, BSU president and Waynesboro School Board student representative, said. “Our goal is to empower Black students through cultural awareness, education initiatives and leadership development while also promoting a sense of belonging and support. And, we welcome all students.”

The group hosted a Friendsgiving in November and a movie night in December and wrote Valentine’s Day cards for students. In the spring, trips are planned to Virginia Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.

Copeland said she is used to being the minority member of her class.

“So being in this club basically we are able to talk about experiences that we all can relate to,” Copeland said.

Sophomores and freshmen have asked her questions about college experiences and HBCUs. She is enjoying the community aspect of the group.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.