Allies For Action
Updated: Jun 25, 2022
By Anastasia Papadimitriou
As the fight for social justice and equality continues with fervor all across the US, a small yet integral club within our school aims to educate and talk about these important issues that our society has been reluctant in facing for centuries.
The Allies for Action is a social justice club that was created to spread awareness about minority groups such as the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and people with disabilities. It was created a few years ago by a group of teachers who believed it was important to have a club at the school to help support and educate all students on the importance of respecting and accepting different identities, as well as enabling a safe discussion on topics that they believed needed to be addressed.
Their past projects have included presentations to the lower years to educate on social issues and to give a better understanding of how to face them. They wrote 10-minute presentations on a few important issues: struggles facing immigrants and the immigration process in the US, the trans community, the disabled community and ableism, the LGBTQ+ community, socio-economic disparities and class differences, and the Indigenous community and the systemic oppression of indigenous peoples.
Their most recent project has been a discussion with the department heads (English, History, Skills, Science, and the Arts) to advocate their ideas in hopes of diversifying the school curriculum by incorporating knowledge, ideas, and history from different backgrounds. For example, the Arts Department group showed that learning about art and artists from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds is beneficial to students learning.
Paris Noble, a year 13 and one of the heads of the AfA club, shared her beliefs with us. “Our message is to approach these difficult topics with a sense of humility and understanding.” She believes that as a club it is important that they are able to listen, understand, and respect people whose social identifiers they cannot relate to.
She proceeded to say, “We’re really just trying to promote listening to struggles that people go through in this country, and around the world, through no fault of their own, because of predispositions, so approaching these topics with understanding and humility while also recognizing our own privilege can help those people who are not necessarily in the same position as the majority of our society.”
Talking about diversity and equality is very important and I believe this club has done a lot of good in addressing these social issues. Yet, it is important that we as a school are aware that there is more to be done to further the inclusivity in our community. It is necessary to begin to embrace difficult conversations. If we try to run away from them, we will never move forward.