SRJ Hosts Week of Action

SRJ Hosts Week of Action

Mateya McCord, Reporter

The club, Students for Racial Justice (SRJ) held a “Week of Action” throughout the week of Feb. 8-12. This week is commonly viewed as a week of reflective questions for teachers and staff. These questions are focused on how to make school a more equal and better place for BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color). Each day for one week there was an email sent out by math teacher Esther Koontz asking staff members to reflect on how to make NHS a more equitable place for both staff and students.

Koontz says the main goal for the “Week of Action” is to have more equality and justice throughout NHS and to honor Black History Month. The month of February is dedicated annually for Black History Month and is aimed at honoring African Americans from all periods of U.S. history.
The goal is to honor Black History Month and to keep questions of justice and equity before us,” Koontz said. “If we aren’t asking the hard questions, then we’re continuing the status quo that has been inequitable for centuries.”

Koontz also says that the “Week of Action” is primarily designed by students. She believes that it will let staff know that students are very much concerned for racial justice not only in our communities but also in our schools. 

“Seeing these daily reminders lets staff know that students are concerned for justice,” Koontz said. “Students are the next generation of leaders in the fight against injustice. Their work is important now and into the future, as they lead us forward.”

Senior Josue Coy Dick has a very similar opinion to Koontz. Both Koontz and Coy Dick state that they both would like Black History Month to be honored more throughout the school. Coy Dick also says that SRJ is welcome to anyone who wants to support, value and recognize BIPOC. 

“Students for Racial Justice is a club committed to being an open community seeking to support, recognize, and value BIPOC and their experiences,” Coy Dick said. “SRJ provides a voice for those students who are often excluded and silenced. SRJ recognizes intersectionality and supports the struggle of all oppressed peoples. Specifically, SRJ is working to create a culture at NHS that isn’t so toxic to BIPOC and on changing the NHS curriculum to make it less white and eurocentric.” Coy Dick said. 

When asked about what her opinion is on SRJ’s “Week of Action”, sophomore Eliza Epp says that the questions posed are very important to discuss. She explains that she agrees with everything the club stands for but wishes she personally could interact more with students, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic the club has had limited options this school year. 

“I agree with everything this club posts and stands for,” Epp said. “More than anything I think it’s important and helpful for people to be aware of these issues that happen in our school. I do wish that the week could have been more interactive with students, but because of COVID, our options were limited.”

According to many student participants and teacher sponsors, the club SRJ has become very popular on campus. The club has many more events to support BIPOC planned for the near future. Koontz encourages students interested in joining SRJ to attend their next meeting held both in-person and via Google Meet on Feb. 25 at 2:45 p.m.

“Students and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend meetings and get involved in our club,” Koontz said. “We currently have many subcommittees working on various projects, and NHS students can join Students for Racial Justice at any time, even if they didn’t sign up at the beginning of the school year.”