Student leaders unite to teach on cultural diversity

Senior Hadley Anderson starts Indigenous Student Union with a goal of building community


Semai Hagos

ISU intends on hosting a collaborative drum-making event in the hopes of curating enough materials and experience for students and staff.

Semai Hagos, Features Editor

The school year is now in full swing, and many students of color have been focusing their effort on increasing inclusivity and diversity within the BHS community. The school has a union for Black, Asian, LatinX, Jewish and Pacific Islander students. However, there has yet to be a union for Indigenous students.

That is, until senior Hadley Anderson, took the initiative to start Indigenous Student Union, or ISU.

“We have so many great student unions for all different ethnic cultures here at Ballard but we didn’t have an Indigenous one so I thought, ‘why not?’,” Anderson said.

Co-humanities teacher, Joe Subido, voices his support and desire to uplift student voices.

“It’s my first year teaching, but at the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to myself that I would be available to students of color that were wanting or willing to make movements towards advancing racial equity in our school,” Subido said.

ISU intends on hosting a collaborative hands-on event, in the hopes of curating enough materials and experience for students and staff.

“We’re really excited to partner with the Seattle Indian Health Board,” Subido said. “[We’re going] to offer a drum making class to the students in Indigenous Student Union.”

Student union leaders have recently been gathering to discuss more ways to incorporate multicultural education and events among students and staff.

“My main goal [for ISU] is community [building] and [providing] education on Indigenous culture,” Anderson said. “It’s so prominent here in the Pacific Northwest, especially here in Seattle.”

Subido is not only involved in ISU, but is also the adviser for LatinX Student Union.

“What I’ve seen so far is the young leaders of these two clubs putting in such a tremendous amount of effort and work into making sure that these clubs are not only regularly meeting, but [also] having intentional lessons and having structure,” Subido said.

With some students of color feeling underrepresented in the community, Subido wraps up with a final invitation to  students of color searching for a welcoming space.

“I would like to extend an invitation especially to a lot of the Indigenous students at the school who may not feel seen or feel like they don’t have a place here,” Subido said.