By Zumen Javed ’18 & Ufaq Tahir ’18
Diverse Hornets of the newly created Social Justice Club aim to bring students together to discuss social issues and change the school community by making controversial issues heard.
President of the Social Justice Club, Aushna Saleem ’17, said she has always been passionate about her views on social justice but felt no one cared; so Ms. Mosley brought up the idea for a club about social issues, and Saleem was compelled to make it happen.
Ideas surfaced in February of this year, but the club started meeting at the end of March. Members meet on Thursday’s period 10 in room 335.
Saleem said, “I wanted a place where people could get together and be passionate about their thoughts, learn from others, feel accepted, enact change, and leave empowered.”
Vice President of the Social Justice Club, Renata Sakaeva ’18 said, “There is diversity in the club. We’ve seen white, black, and asian students. We’ve seen hijabs, dreads, and more. However, we don’t have gender diversity in the club. It’s mostly girls, which we would like to change.”
Abby Beginyazova ’18 said, “Women tend to be more socially conscious and open. People may have the idea the club is trying to bash men but we’re accepting of everyone.”
There were many reasons as to why Saleem and Sakaeva started the club, but they agreed the 2016 election created an upsetting political climate that made them want to create a place to openly discuss it.
Members are concerned about the huge divide between liberals and conservatives in the country. Sakaeva said, “We wanted to create a space in our school where people could come together, regardless of their beliefs, and talk about issues that concern them or they’re passionate about.”
Members are also interested in issues such as the wage gap, racism, and political correctness. So far they’ve shared their thoughts on race, gender identity, class, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
Saleem said, “This club would help students by giving them a safe space to openly discuss and express themselves. We want students to feel like they can make change in their lives and others, and feel as though their issues are acknowledged.”
In the club, desks are arranged in a circle and all members have name cards. Upon entering, members are given some time to gather their thoughts and come up with a definition for the issue being discussed. Then, they begin talking and focus on the main questions they’re trying to answer.
When the club discussed body image issues, they focused on why it exists today, how they’ve experienced it, and what they can do to move on from it.
The mentors of the club, Ms. Mosley, Ms. Menard, and Ms. Kornacker, want members to focus on discussing social issues important to the school, while members have said this club can help students.
Fatima Hussain ’18 said, “Joining this club would help others by making them more aware of problems not only in our school, but in society.”
Beginyazova said, “We only know what we experience, we don’t know everyone else’s story. I’ve learned to be more respectful and not judge because everyone’s different.
The club plans on having guest speakers such as domestic violence victims from different organizations to get people inspired to speak out, and trips, but for now they’re trying to recruit more members.