BLU shines light on black issues

The Black Leaders Union at Oak Park and River Forest High School provides a place for students to find a group that works together to help the black community at OPRF. 

Blaire Brown, a sophomore in BLU “joined to meet other students and people who just look like me,” because “Coming from River Forest, there were not too many.” 

Brown said in BLU “we talk about current issues in the black community,  and we talk about programs to benefit the black community at OPRF.” 

Zach Ellis, a senior and the President of BLU, has been a member since his freshman year. “I became a leader my junior year and I did that because I wanted a role in a club that has been so monumental for me during my high school career,” said Ellis. “I have found a community of people who can uplift and relate to me in a way that some of my peers don’t. I have been given so many amazing opportunities because of this club.” 

Brown also feels she has benefited from being part of BLU. “It’s helped me empathize more with other people, cause we’re all from different backgrounds, so it’s good to understand different perspectives,” said Brown, “People can find each other, there’s a space for us to be together and communicate.” 

BLU is currently “working on a movie night and finishing up Black History Month with a bang,” according to Ellis, as well as on “Monday the 27th we will be having a black author come in to read some of their poetry.”

“The environment is always joyous. We try not to let bad and negative energy into the club and we are always very respectful of others’ opinions even if we don’t always agree,” said Ellis, It’s important that OPRF has BLU so that the Black youth at our school have a safe space to talk about issues that black youth can relate to.”