Student council leaders bring Black History Month to Bedford High

Two student leaders decided to take charge to make a change.
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 2:47 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Each year, when February turns the corner, it’s a chance to celebrate Black History Month, but in some communities, it goes unnoticed. This year, two Bedford High School students decided it was time to make a change.

“If you think of this country as a whole, the third-largest population is African Americans after whites and Hispanics,” says Ilana Ravindra, Sophomore Student Council President at Bedford High School. “We can’t just center around Bedford and the whole world. This country has such much diversity.”

Ilana Ravindra and Hussein Jomaa led the student council to make 50+ posters of influential Black Americans who changed our history and culture to spread throughout the predominantly white school and faculty and teachers took notice.

“I spent my morning, I went up and down the hallways, reading every single poster,” says math teacher Christy Avalos. “And I will say, in my 26 years of teaching, this has been the best celebration of Black History Month we’ve ever had.”

“Especially from the small portion of African Americans at our school,” explains Ravindra. “They contacted us and said they were proud of what we did.”

But they didn’t stop at just the visuals. They used their voices too, sharing the story of one Black American’s history over the school’s intercom three days a week.

Their efforts were recognized by the Bedford School Board where they were asked to make a video to further spread awareness.

“Racism is instilled when you’re young,” says Jomaa. “You need to learn past history. So I feel like us spreading awareness now, we’re just going to do everything we can to help make a change.”

“I think these kids are our leaders and our future and I think when they take such pride in our work... I think it speaks volumes to what we have to look forward to,” says Mrs. Avalos.

And these young leaders are just getting started. Next month they plan on celebrating women’s history and are working on creating a diversity club to make sure history carries on.

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