BSU member shares hopes, goals for club

Guadalupe Duarte Arcos, Reporter

All throughout history, people have been battling to make a change in America regarding racial inequality from Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his “I Have A Dream Speech” in 1963 and Malcolm X giving his speech of “The Ballot or the Bullet” in 1964 to MHS alumnus Trey Baker, Class of 2021, organizing local protests around the George Floyd case.


For Adriyanna Tesimu, a sophomore member of Black Student Union (BSU), this is more than a battle. 


“Battles end,” she said. “This fighting won’t end for me.”


By attending BSU meetings every Friday morning, Tesimu said she is dedicated and determined to help the Black community and anyone else who struggles with racial inequality.


“Anyone can attend [the BSU meetings]; you don’t have to be of color,” Tesimu said. “You just have to be willing to put your controversial views aside and listen to others and what they go through as well.”


Tesimu defined BSU as a club where others listen to each other and choose topics to discuss together based on what they are hearing each other say.  


BSU’s sponsor, Jeanne Herry, expanded on this description of the club.


“Black Student Union is a club of inclusion for students from all walks of life, ethnic background and identity,” Herry said. “The club provides a brave space for our Black students at MHS. Students are able to come and voice their thoughts and grievances they experience here at the school and also outside of school. We talk and discuss how to navigate life as a Black person.”


Tesimu said she is proud of her accomplishments in doing just what BSU sets out to be and has seen positive outcomes from the club.


For example, she has advocated for class curriculum that is less eurocentric so that lessons in classes “are about people of color in history that don’t revolve around white people and the effects they had on them,” she said.


Besides taking steps like these, BSU members have also found ways to be active within the Mundelein community. As a result, Herry said the club has been noticed.


“We have done great things here at MHS as well as within the community of Mundelein,” Herry said, adding, “BSU has been a part of the food drives Mundelein High School and the Chapel [a local church] has put together. We have also been a part of Lunch and Learns for students and staff. A few members have also talked with middle school students about their high school experiences about race, equity and inclusion.”


Tesimu disagreed, though, that the club has been well-noticed.


“I wouldn’t say we’re well-noticed,” Tesimu said. “I want [BSU] to get even bigger to let people know it exists. Moreover, I wish that we could do more.”


Tesimu has already helped organize, lead, promote and speak at Black Lives Matter protests, yet she still has more she wants to accomplish, particularly through BSU.


“I know we can do more with this club,” Tesimu said. “I’ve seen our people do wonderful things, and I believe that if we are given the right time and attention we deserve, we will continue doing great things.”


Her plans for the future can be traced back to her passions, as outlined by her mom Tara Tesimu.


“Adriyanna is a young woman who has been passionate about fighting for human rights, including Black lives, immigrant rights and the LBGTQ community for most of her life,” Tara Tesimu said.


Adriyanna Tesimu noted how supportive her mom has been by driving her to events and financially supporting her endeavors. Tara Tesimu noted her daughter’s qualities as well.


“Adriyanna is the most beautiful person I know, inside and out. She is kind and caring. She is stubborn and motivated. She is brilliant and hard-working. She will do anything she sets her mind to,” said Tara Tesimu, who added, “She makes the world a better place.”