African American Student Union looks to address equality and social justice

 Club Co-President president Willa McBride is extremely excited to lead the AASU in her senior year alongside the other president and senior Myles Lynch.

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http://www.gtaasu.org/

The advisor of the AASU, Mr. Jeffrey Holmes, became the position after several students approached him about creating the club over the years. “Especially now with so much discussion about equality and social justice, I felt that there was a need in the Eastern community,” said Mr. Holmes.

The creation of the African American Student Union was long overdue at Eastern Regional High School. Finally, for the first time since Eastern opened in 1965, the AASU is proud to be a part of the school’s club community.

  The advisor of the AASU, Mr. Jeffrey Holmes, became the position after several students approached him about creating the club over the years. “Especially now with so much discussion about equality and social justice, I felt that there was a need in the Eastern community,” said Mr. Holmes.

  The main goal of the AASU, Mr. Holmes says, is: “To give all students, with a particular focus on students of color, a place at Eastern where they can learn and express the unique cultural experience of being an African American from sports and entertainment, to business and politics. and beyond.”

 Club Co-President president Willa McBride is extremely excited to lead the AASU in her senior year alongside the other president and senior Myles Lynch. She had been working with Mr. Holmes to make the AASU a real thing and was elated when the club became official and immediately ran and received the position of co-president. “I wanted to become Co-President because I’ve been working at it since the beginning, so I felt it fitting to continue,” said McBride. “This opportunity also gives me the ability to help create more awareness within Eastern.”

  The first year of the AASU will come with a little difficulty due to the Coronavirus. However, if things start to get better around the country, McBride says that they are planning a field trip in the spring to the African American History Museum in Washington D.C. or something similar. “As for events right now,” McBride says, “we are working on organizing a Town Hall. This will give an opportunity to enable open conversations about relevant issues within the African-American community.”

  Just like McBride, senior Melanie Ervin, also wanted to contribute to Eastern in some way before her graduation in June. So, Ervin joined the club and became club Treasurer. “As Treasurer, my primary goal is to build up as many funds as possible to leave a strong, stable environment for the next board members,” Ervin said.

  Ervin believes that for people looking to join the club, it is important to have a space where you can be around people who have the same experiences as you. She highly recommends everybody to join.

  Holmes hopes that the AASU will help to enlighten the Eastern community to the fact that every culture in America has made a sacrifice and a contribution, and therefore deserves to be celebrated and studied. “That diversity is an incredible opportunity for the bringing together of different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds, and that more unites us than separates us as Americans,” Mr. Holmes said.

  “Joining AASU meant creating a sense of transparency for me,” McBride said. “It means a sense of larger awareness that we, as people, don’t always think about within the day to day. It’s important for others to have opportunities to immerse themselves around people like them. Growing up, I wasn’t as lucky to have those experiences, so being able to forge and witness them for my class and the next to come, is a substantial reason why I joined AASU.”

  “Anyone student at Eastern can join the AASU,” Mr. Holmes said. “In fact we welcome students from diverse backgrounds. Only by opening the dialogue between people can we strip away prejudices, stereotypes and misrepresentations.”