Black Student Union for Elementary Students

Hillcrest Elementary School will be using their 2017-18 Innovation Award to launch a Black Student Union that is driven by student voice in order to increase a sense of belonging and leadership for African-American students.

The Challenge

The Hillcrest community is increasingly aware that some of their African American students are struggling to define who they are and where they come from in positive terms in an increasingly hostile social and economic environment. Students have presented experiences and worries to staff that reflect their struggles around identity, positive self-image, and personal narrative. The design team wants to create dedicated time and space for African American students to explore issues of cultural identity, foster a positive sense of agency and community, and to develop an awareness of the specific academic and social factors that create obstacles for students of color in the early stages of their academic careers.

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