CARMEL, Ind. — University High School in Carmel is honoring Black history all month long with a series of events put on by the student “Black Affinity” group. 

It’s something the students say they are passionate to share with their wider community at the primarily white institution, or PWI for short. 

The group is highlighting Black contributions to music, sports and culture. 

They host morning assemblies with the entire student body to share the presentations. They also have trivia on certain days. 

They were virtual last year, so now they are back in person and getting more engagement. 

They want these to be educational so everyone can appreciate and embrace the culture. 

“That’s, I feel like, a unique thing. I don’t really hear a lot of schools having an in-depth Black History Month,” said Black Affinity co-president Kennedy Russel. 

It also gives them a sense of pride to be able to show off Black excellence. 

“Last year when we did Black History Month, we covered a lot of social justice topics, and sometimes it can be a little down,” said Black Affinity co-president Ronelle Dorant. 

“So, this year we thought we want to spread joy and just share the things that we love about being Black.” 

They are even teaching about Black people in careers some might not normally expect. 

“I think especially in the world of motorsports, you don’t think of anyone being Black… particularly not the driver,” said Black Affinity junior leader Steven Scott. 

Scott got to share his passion for motorsports. 

“I think it’s important because it shows that Black people can be successful at anything.” 

Something members of the group say shows how Black people can excel in anything. 

“It shows our community and how we like to come together and create beautiful things. ‘Cause I think each presentation truly shows how dedicated we are to all the topics and how Black people are in a wide variety of different things,” said Black Affinity co-president Abigail Hannon. 

It’s an in-depth look that members of the group say is important. 

“People, if they’re more educated, they can learn how to appreciate a culture instead of appropriate it or be disrespectful to it,” said Russell. 

Some say the month-long presentations and all the work the club does throughout the year have had an impact. 

“It’s really just helped create like this new energy and attract students to this small private school in Carmel that they may not have looked at before,” said Black Affinity faculty sponsor Ladé Akande. 

She says since she’s been there the percentage of Black students has increased. 

“It’s been absolutely amazing. I mean that’s such a drastic change in such a short period of time to go from 4 percent to 15 percent just in the 6, 7 years that I’ve been here.” 

The students say Black history isn’t just about the month, but all year round. Throughout the year they host other events like HBCU campus visits in the fall and an Affinity Graduation in the spring.