Young Activists Rise in Social Justice Club
In fall 2021, an idea was ignited among Ms Adenekan, Ms. Jiwani, and five middle school students — Anya, Ellie, Kendall, Serena, and Yasmin.
“Wouldn’t it be empowering and informative if we had a special place for middle school students to gather to discuss social justice issues and create space for activism in the community?" they pondered.
Having similar interests, the group met in the math classroom to discuss the possibility of forming a Social Justice Club.
Several months later, the Social Justice Club (SJC) grew from 5 to 17 students. Many students joined to explore their interest in activism and creating positive change in the world.
“I joined to help make a difference in the world and learn more about current events,” explains Serena (8th grade). "I am so glad I did, it helped me bond with others while helping the community and learning about taking action.”
The club is a safe place where students can discuss current events and issues affecting society including women's rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, racism, ableism, and what it means to know your identity. In addition to discussing relevant topics, the club has led several social justice and service learning projects.
“This club accomplishes so many things, big and small. Some of our most proud accomplishments have been raising over $800 from a school dance fundraiser to make care packages for homeless LGBTQIA+ teens in San Francisco, and attending an extremely large protest in October to defend human rights.” explains Ellie (8th grade).
Students quickly learned that being able to make a positive impact in our community is extremely rewarding and inspiring to their academic and career paths beyond Episcopal Day.
“Ever since I was little I have wanted to work in the U.S. Capitol or White House, and joining the SJC has definitely confirmed what I want to do when I'm older,” explains Yasmin (8th grade). “I know I want to work to help people globally and help make decisions for our country to benefit others. Whether working as a state representative or creating an organization, I know I want to help people when I'm older.”
Yasmin is one of several students who aspire to make a difference in the world.
“I am currently thinking about getting involved in journalism and using my voice through writing to speak out about current issues, becoming a part of politics; for example, working on a team for an important person in congress or the supreme court,” aspires Ellie (8th grade). “In addition, I would love to lead or become an important advocate for organizations around the country, like one of my local favorites, SURJ San Francisco.”
The SJC continues to flourish as the school year comes to a close.
“It has been an incredible experience to support our students in having honest conversations about real world issues, and formulate projects to create positive change in our community,” exclaims Ms. Adenekan, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “We are thrilled with how the club has grown and can’t wait for what is to come next year.”