Josie Helm is the Girl of the Month for our 5th issue! Josie is a Junior in High school at The Brearley School in New York City. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Black Students Demanding Change (BSDC).
“BSDC is dedicated to fostering a centralized community space where Black students feel heard, supported, and celebrated. We work to implement racially equitable reform in private schools across the U.S. by serving as an intermediary between Black students and our administrations. Our platform amplifies the voices of our peers by translating concerns and ideas into actionable steps to make our institutions actively anti-racist and authentically inclusive, thus improving the educational experience for all students. We aim to work in concert with our administrations to implement changes, ensuring accountability and transparency along the way.”
Follow Josie and BSDC on social media:
Josie’s instagram: @josieehelm
BSDC’s website: https://www.blackstudentsdemandingchange.org/
0:52 – What is Black Students Demanding Change and what drove you to create it?
2:26 – When did you create BSDC? Was this something that you had in mind for a while?
3:08 – What has been BSDC’s accomplishments so far?
4:13 – What are the BSDC demands, and how did you come up with these demands?
6:16 – What are the different committees and groups within BSDC?
7:46 – How receptive have the schools been towards BSDC?
9:21 – Has there been any negative responses and how are you dealing with them?
10:29 – How many students are a part of BSDC?
10:48 – I heard that you all had the first BSDC annual conference, how was that and what did you accomplish?
12:00 – In the future, after COVID, do you see other conferences happening in person?
12:44 – How is BSDC reaching beyond New York independent schools?
13:58 – How can students get involved in BSDC?
15:44 – How do you see BSDC growing in the future?
16:51 – Have you faced any difficulties either while starting BSDC, and if so how did you overcome them?
18:26 – What do you wish you had known when you started out?
19:16 – What has been surprising about your journey with BSDC?
20:10 – What are you most proud of since you’ve started BSDC?
21:14 – What have you learned about yourself during this process?
22:20 – If you could change one thing about your independent school experience what would it be?
23:04 – What other organizations and things are you involved with?
24:28 – What advice would you give to your younger self?
25:08 – If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
25:47 – How can others stay up to date with you and BSDC?