- Early College Academy
Emerging BC: A Brooklyn Center group sets out to dismantle systemic inequalities head-on
Thursday, March 2, 2023
A group in the city of Brooklyn Center is working to make a difference and address systemic inequalities head-on.
Emerging BC was created after the killing of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center by police officer Kim Potter. The group has set out on an 18-month curriculum that consists of visiting areas around the country, speaking with key leaders, observing how systems like racism operate and relating them back to the Brooklyn Center community in order to make it a more equitable place for future generations. They have visited New York City as well as San Francisco and Oakland, California with one last trip to be determined. In their travels, they have seen Alcatraz, participated in a documentary at the Chinese Cultural Center in Chinatown, San Francisco, and met with former members of the Black Panther Party.
Dr. Saturu Ned, former member of the Black Panther Party, leads Emerging BC group on a tour around downtown Oakland
Erica Lee, a junior at Brooklyn Center High School STEAM, is a member of Emerging BC. “Something I like about this cohort is that there is no hierarchy or power system. Everyone is on the same level and I really appreciate that,” Lee said.
Lee became a part of the group after connecting with LaToya Turk, director of the office of community prevention, health and safety in Brooklyn Center. Turk and other staff from the city were visiting Andrea Kemink’s AVID classes at Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM to present on policing, public safety, and citizen’s rights.
BCHS Junior Erica Lee
When reflecting on what she has learned so far, Lee has a few key points.
“The first big thing I’ve learned is the importance of community. The members of the Black Panthers are a great example of people who didn’t wait around for the system to serve the people because the system was never built to serve the people. So, the Black Panther Party took matters into their own hands to serve and uplift the people in communities across the country… Another big thing I've learned is the importance of putting action behind your words. There are a lot of people out there who talk about all of these changes they want to see, but then they don’t actually do the work. If you don’t put action behind hopes and dreams, we’re not going to go anywhere. The last big thing I've learned is that we have to talk about oppression as systems – systems that have been built and we’ve been living in from generation to generation.”
Emerging BC has members of all ages but wants to see more youth become a part of the next cohort. Students at BCCS who want to learn more and potentially become a part of the next cohort can reach out to Erica Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Emerging BC from the Sun Post.
Emerging BC group
The African American Museum and Library in Oakland, CA
BCHS Junior Erica Lee stands with former members of the Black Panther Party Dr. Saturu Ned (far left), Dr. Katherine Campbell (middle right), and Professor Steve McCutchen (far right) at Joyce Gordon Galley in Oakland, CA.
View of Alcatraz in San Francisco, CA
Emerging BC group at the Chinese Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA