A Look into the Social Justice Club

Recent events have brought social equality to the forefront and Malden High School’s Social Justice club is making sure to address these social issues, shedding light on a much needed conversation.

Newly formed and inspired by the success of the social justice club run by Summer Search, the Social Justice club works to create a safe and welcoming environment to talk about social injustices and how to address them. To the club officers, this type of club was almost a necessity. Senior Gabby Onessimo recognized early on Malden High’s diversity and the need for a club that both celebrates this diversity and allows students to talk about the struggles related with being so diverse. Onessimo, the president and founder of the club who is also the Head Copy Editor of the Blue and Gold, wanted to build a space that would support a community interested in talking about social justice and making change.

When Onessimo approached seniors Deborah Deapherne and Robyn Jones, both immediately expressed their eagerness to attend and help lead the club. The plan was to create a club where new topics would be addressed every meeting, giving members a chance to contribute to ongoing conversations about recent events, justice movements, and issues in school.

Deapherne, one of the club’s officers, explains that “as [they] start off small and [they] have the conversations in [their] little classroom it’ll eventually grow out and grow to everyone else and people will start feeling comfortable and start correcting others, especially when they are being rude or derogatory.” At its core, Jones, the club’s final president, knows the club is all about the feeling that “they get where [she’s] coming from, and [she gets] where they are coming from,” and what people choose to do with that feeling.

The officers and members are all hoping that this first year yields success. The club is already planning some initiatives to further its mission. While continuing to hold weekly discussion meetings, the club plans to set up posters about appropriation to educate others about the importance of standing up not only for yourself, but for others as well. To inform and educate, the club also urges members and students to use social media for their benefit by following others who advocate for social justice.

The club is also hoping to take the conversation outside of the classroom, bringing the topic of social justice to the forefront in school assemblies and even outside of school events. They want to engage in peaceful protests and other shows of civil disobedience, historically the most influential form of social action, not just to show the importance of the issues being spoken of, but the importance of student’s voices.

Now, the Social Justice club is using student’s voices to address social injustices by providing a space for students to “vent and learn without being completely judged, pushed out, or ignored”, as Deapherne puts it. This is especially important to MHS students, Jones concludes, because “[they] want to have Malden High be aware of everything that’s going on and not be one of those schools that is really diverse but [they] don’t talk about it”. The club meets every Wednesday in Ms. Brown’s room in B328.

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