University Prep Academy High School now proudly flies the Black Lives Matter Flag and LGBTQA+ Flag, alongside the American Flag at the forefront of the 5-building campus. This show of support is thanks to the efforts of Student Body President, Tatianna McKenzie.
In addition to their 90% graduation and college acceptance rate, a fantastic accomplishment, U Prep is only one of ten schools in the entire United States to fly these flags in solidarity to their causes. The flags were formally on display within the school, and at the behest of Mckenzie, along with assistance from staff and countless student supporters, the flags are now flown outside. “We wanted to highlight that ALL Black Lives Matter” declared the Dean of Culture at University Prep Academy High. Emphasizing their commitment to proudly display “who we are and what we’re about.”
Upon entering the school, you can find the quote, “You matter just as you are,” which is indicative of the inclusive culture and safe space they offer to all of their students, who are predominantly Black. Following U Prep’s bold example, all affiliate schools will join their crusade and fly the BLM and Pride flags. They are aligning their activism with empathy to ensure an accurate representation of all students. “It was a natural progression,” said Lawrence, describing the decision to act collectively. He shared his commitment to his students: Build confidence along with cultural, and school pride while doing it together.
“To have these flags up allows for every student walking onto the campus to feel safe, included, and accepted. The American Flag alone doesn’t speak for everyone. These flags fly as a symbol of inclusivity. All black lives matter, therefore, we stand together.” – Tatianna McKenzie, Senior, Student Body President, UPA High School.
The flags are located on the University Prep Academy Campus located in Downtown Detroit.