Unifying the Culture trip gives Black students a chance to cultivate community

An event earlier this month brought Bloomington high school student leaders to IU to celebrate and cultivate safe and brave spaces for Black students. 

The Unifying the Culture High School Trip included student leaders from the Black Student Union organization at Bloomington High School North and the Black Culture Club at Bloomington High School South. The event was part of an effort to bridge the gap between the university and the city, and was planned by Da’Ja’Nay Askew, a Higher Education Ph.D. student, with help from Gloria Howell, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center, and various community partners.

At the event, students engaged in a panel discussion with current IU students, had a tour of the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center, viewed performances from the African Dance Company and Black & Brown Theatre Troupe and enjoyed a catered lunch.

“Organizing this trip has been a pleasure and honor. I am passionate about creating community amongst marginalized groups and I love putting action behind my scholarship. I study concepts of Black Joy regarding student activism and community involvement. I hope to continue growing as a scholar-activist and creating change in my community while uplifting those around me,” Askew said. 

This trip will be proposed to occur annually and include all students from both high school organizations.