BLACC members bond on annual retreat

Saba Nia

Following the success of their first retreat last year, student and faculty members of the Black Leadership, Awareness and Culture Club held bonding exercises and workshops Aug. 19.
The retreat, which was held again at the Middle School, featured icebreakers, games and group discussions for students to better foster connections.
Keynote speaker Kena Dorsey shared her documentary-like video, “Portraits of a Black Girl.” The video highlights how African-American girls at Campbell Hall and Westchester High School, who switched schools for a day, connected despite coming from different backgrounds.
Students also listened to a panel led by Chanell Thomas ’13 and Taylor Nunley ’12. The alumni answered questions and talked about their experience at the school and it affected them in college.
“It seemed like everybody bonded well,” upper school BLACC leader Taylor Redmond ’18 said. “I’m looking forward to mixing with the middle school [BLACC members] a little bit better and also bonding as a tight-knit upper school community. For the year coming up, our program seems to be going well so far.”
In addition, faculty members led workshops about smart decision-making and study skills. The 70 participants also made backpacks of supplies for children in need while their parents attended a panel about raising children.
Both faculty and student leaders said that their goals of creating stronger bonds between club members was accomplished. Participants said that they are looking forward to continuing the retreat annually and making the BLACC have a stronger presence on campus.
“Because we have both the Upper School and Middle School [BLACC] we don’t do enough together. It’s hard during the school year when everyone gets so busy,” Upper School Dean Chris Jones said. “So I think the first [goal] is to kick off the year. Then [another goal is] also to get all the kids in the same space realizing that this is a bigger organization that’s here to support you. You can feel a sense of belonging to something larger than yourself.”