UIC College Prep’s Black Student Union Builds Community

The image shows two images in a collage. The image on the left shows five students hugging in a classroom. Some students faces aren't visible as the other ones are. The image on the right is seven students taking a selfie while in a classroom. The students are smiling directly at the camera. Some students are holding up the peace sign while other students are smiling. The images have a blue overlay over them. On the left side of the image, the title states 'Leadership at Noble: Black Student Union at UICCP' surrounded by yellow bordering. On the right side of the image, the Noble schools logo is present.
Published On: July 8th, 2023Categories: 2023, Campus Life, Equity at Noble, Students, UIC College Prep

This is part of a series of blogs from Noble campus representatives to give a deeper look at campus life.

Unity is to be joined as a whole. A union is a club or association established by people with the same interests. At UIC College Prep (UICCP), unity is an important part of our community because we believe the bonds created by students during such a critical growing stage are often what shapes their next steps in life after high school. These joint experiences help influence their future needs and wants. One of the most prominent unions at UICCP that we have seen transform the lives of our students is the Black Student Union (BSU).

The BSU at UICCP is a completely student-led organization and plays a crucial role in promoting the empowerment, support, and representation of Black students on our campus. The BSU was originally started by staff to address the needs and concerns they heard from Black students on campus– such as discussing trauma, navigating new communities and neighborhoods, and learning how to manuever in diverse spaces. The ultimate goal of forming the BSU was to create a space where our Black students felt safe and loved by their classmates and teachers so they can work together to face these challenges head-on and bring about their own healing and success. However, the Black Student Union is not always about trials and challenges, this union was also created for fun, joy and lots of laughter.

Photo shows five visible students hugging in a classroom. One student is wearing a hoodie on as he's hugging two of the students in the group. One student, who's face is not visible, is wearing his hoodie halfway. One student is wearing a white snap back hat but his face isn't visible. Two other students are both wearing glasses and another student is holding a red gift bag in her hand.

Hug of Love during a BSU Meeting

Students come in for a group hug during a BSU meeting at UIC College Prep.

Over the past two school years, the students in the BSU have been taking it to the next level to build community, compensating for the time lost during online learning. They’ve hosted countless member meetings and school events since we came back to the school building in 2021. They’ve thrown multiple dances, dress down days, performing arts events with the Honors Band and Choir, and more.

Kamorra, a recent 2023 graduate of UIC College Prep, was a faithful member of the Black Student Union since her sophomore year. To her, joining the BSU was an important way to build community for herself and other Black students.

“I joined BSU because I wanted to help make a space where Black kids were comfortable being themselves and expressing how they felt about certain things happening at this school involving race,” Kamorra said.

One of the main goals of the BSU this recent school year was to host consistent meetings to make sure that all the students were okay mentally, emotionally, and physically — both inside and outside of school. They wanted the meetings to be a safe space to vent and express any vulnerability, whether it was happy or sad. For Kamorra, it was an especially important space to build power with other Black students and advocate for their community when they faced challenges in the school.

Seven students are pictured in the selfie above. Students are smiling and posing. Some students are sticking out the peace sign. Four students in the middle are wearing glasses. The students took the photo inside the classroom.

UICCP Black Student Union

Students take selfies while in BSU.

Seven students are visible in the selfie. Some students are posing with peace signs while others are just smiling. One student has their thumbs up as their taking the selfie.

Selfies from Varnado & Friends

Last year, Kamorra said it was tough for Black students at UICCP because of some hurtful jokes and statements that non-Black students were making. She felt like those moments put a barrier between everyone in the Firecat community. Along with the BSU, Kamorra stood up to advocate for change, meeting with the principal to address their concerns.

“We overcame that and pushed through by consulting Mr. Burns and making it known that bullying in any way is not acceptable, whether it’s a joke or not. It’s still offensive,” Kamorra said.

Even though she is heading out to college now, Kamorra still has high hopes for the UICCP BSU. She said she hopes the BSU continues to “bring awareness to the amazing students of color at this school, support one another with their physical and mental state, and continue to make memories.”

We want to write the stories you want to read.

Take our short survey to let us know what you want to see on the Noble blog:

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

We want to write the stories you want to read.

Take our short survey to let us know what you want to see on the Noble blog:

Follow us on social media for more updates about what’s happening on our campuses:

For information about enrolling at a Noble School or employment opportunities please, click below.

Collage of 3 photos. The first photo shows a couple holding a photo of a drawing of themselves at the Muchin Carnival. The next photo displays the seniors at the campsite table. Six students are present. The students are sitting at the table posing towards the camera. The next photo shows the seniors at the brunch. The students are all lined up and posed by each other. There are light pink and orange balloons. The image has a blue overlay over it. On the bottom left side of the image, the title, surrounded by yellow bordering, states "End of the School year visits at Muchin College Prep." On the right hand side of the image, the Noble Schools logo is present.End of the School Year Vibes at Muchin College Prep
The blog cover has two images in it. The first image shows the tuba players going down a party hall. The next image shows the dancers practicing their dance routine inside Golder prep. The images have a blue overlay over them. On the bottom left side of the image is the title of the blog 'Golder bands together through Music & community' surrounded by yellow bordering. On the bottom right hand side of the image, the Noble schools logo is present.Golder College Prep Bands Together Through Music & Community

Ensuring Positive and Equitable School Experiences for Noble Students Across Chicago

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter!

Go to Top