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United Way of Delaware hosts Black Student Union Summit at Chase Fieldhouse

Delaware Public Media

The first statewide Black Student Union Summit takes place Saturday, in Wilmington, put together by United Way of Delaware’s Racial Justice Collaborative.

The keynote speaker is Skye Jackson, a founder of the "Black At" movement, which she started at 16-years old in early 2020, empowering students of color across the nation to speak out about their experiences in predominantly white institutions, from middle schools to secondary education.

Keynote speaker Skye Jackson, a freshman at Brown University. Co-founder of the "Black At" Instagram movement and the National Black Student Alliance.

“It was actually just to raise awareness to voices swept under the rug," said Jackson. "It was meant to be a safe place where people could really get their voices heard when they had never had the opportunity before or they had been shut down or they were scared to for fear of being kicked out.”

Jackson is now a freshman at Brown University and a founder of the National Black Student Alliance. She connected with Tierra Fair, Senior Director of Community Engagement at United Way, who asked her to speak at the summit.

"I think more than anything, students just want to be recognized for having a unique experience," Fair said. "Being an African American in a majority white school is sometimes difficult.”

Fair says the summit is meant for students, teachers and administrators that are passionate about social justice and making change in their schools. The summit also aims to create networking opportunities for students already in a Black student union or seeking to organize one at their high school or college.

“The student unions are really a place for students if they would like to make a change, if there are injustices in their school environment or if there are inequities in their school environment," Fair said.

A $500 cash prize will be awarded to three Delaware high schools with the most attendance.

Free transportation from sites in Georgetown, Milford and Middletown to the Chase Fieldhouse is available.

Registration for the summit is still open at United Way of Delaware website.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.