Haneneel Morinville, junior at Shawnee Mission North, is the president of the Coalition of Racial Equality (CORE) formally the Black Student Union. This summer CORE is providing snacks to families in need funded by a Power of Youth grant from a local non-profit, America’s Promise.
“This grant will be used to alleviate the plight many SMSD families are facing at this time due to the current pandemic,” Morinville noted. Through the grant, the students purchased a variety of snacks and water bottles and passed out 45-50 bags to families at Hocker Grove during SMSD Pickup and Go meals in early July.
The mission of CORE is to initiate positive changes in the SM North community. “We provide a safe space at school for all students and want to be a positive force in our community,” Morinville shared.
Along with providing snacks, the group collected and donated more than 250 books to an inner-city school library and partnered with Pembroke Hill to send more than 200 books to a developing high school in Uganda.
The goals of CORE are to promote unity, change, diversity and inclusivity while providing a safe haven for all students.
"We've had to expand what we'd like to accomplish,” Morinville noted. “In addition to our current goals, we plan on doing our best to counter racism in our school community and aid in truly creating an anti-racist environment where all students feel safe and students are held responsible for their actions and words.”
Morinville encourages all students to take part in the initiatives that CORE will carry out this school year and invites anyone to come to a meeting after school, whether or not they are a current student. “If you're interested in learning and taking part in something meaningful, you're always welcome,” Morinville encouraged. Several past SM North graduates and alumni have regularly attended meetings.
The organization also created a website featuring anti-racist learning material.
CORE has changed the date and will be passing out snack bags at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 24 in the circle drive at Shawnee Mission North.