New Black Student Union club holds first meeting to create a safe environment for all – Mill Valley News

Mill Valley’s new club, the Black Student Union, had its first meeting in the senior cafe before school on Tuesday, April 30. The club was founded as a space for all students to learn about different diversities.

Club sponsor and school employee Darion Hillman was initially approached by the students to start the club before winter break. He spent a lot of time with the students preparing for their first meeting.

“They came to me with an idea and asked if I would support it and what I thought,” Hillman said. “From there we collaborated and researched other black sororities in the area.”

For junior Shawn Njoroge, attending the meeting was a great way to meet new people.

“I decided to attend this meeting because I feel like there isn’t much black population in Mill Valley,” Njoroge said. “I thought it would be great to get to know even more people who are in the same boat as me, talk to other black people and talk about how we feel about being a minority in Mill Valley. I want us to be open and feel like a community.”

Sophomore club leader Ether Kisivo said the positive impact and sense of community are what the club is all about.

“We felt like there was no sense of community within the black community at our school and so we thought we should start something to bring our cultures closer together,” Kisivo said.

“To me, this means we’re getting closer to greater diversity and more inclusivity at school, and I think that’s a really good thing,” Njoroge said. “Because there is nothing wrong with being different, but the problem is: how are we going to approach that? I think this club is really going to open people’s eyes, even though there isn’t a lot of diversity in Mill Valley. We can be more aware of the situation.”

Hillman has some big visions he wants to see the club achieve in the future, including learning new things about African-American culture.

“We just want to take the club and have some guest speakers come in from different backgrounds and different levels of education and hear their stories,” Hillman said. “Also, do some field trips during Black History Month, continue to educate and learn others about African-American culture and also learn new things that we didn’t know at the same time.”

Njoroge leaves a message for the students stating that all people are welcome to attend the meetings regardless of their ethnicity.

“I think other students should know that we don’t want to be exclusive. We’re not trying to exclude people. The whole purpose of the club is to bring people together,” said Njoroge. “And it’s not something people should be afraid of. It’s a little different because Mill Valley hasn’t had anything like this before, but I think people need to know that we welcome everyone.”

Kisivo agrees with Njoroge and shares that the club is open to anyone who wants to learn more about diversity.

“The club is open to everyone. If (students) are just wondering what our culture is or if any of our events sound fun,” Kisivo said. “I feel like the biggest misconception is that it’s just for black people, which isn’t the case. We are there for everyone.”

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