As the new year kicks off, Students Organized for Anti-Racism (SOAR) is preparing to welcome new students. The club’s adviser, Dr. Lee-Ann Stephens said she is looking forward to the perspectives new members will bring.
“I’m excited that there are students who really want to be a part of an anti-racist organization,” Stephens said. “It’s multiracial and I think that’s what I love because no one racial group can do this alone.”
Students Organized for Anti-Racism (SOAR) is a club dedicated to fighting racism at Park as well as teaching students to be better anti-racists. They host school-wide events and facilitate discussions to allow students to think critically about race and their actions regarding it. The club meets weekly during Park Connections. Junior Stayci Spates said she is excited not just to teach others, but also to learn more herself.
“I’m excited to continue to not just telling people to be anti-racist but also learning from other people in that group on how I can continue to be an anti-racist, and bring that throughout the school,” Spates said.
Senior Ayantu Bedaso said being in person again will be a big help in holding discussions with students.
“I’m really looking forward to being back in person and (being) surrounded by all my peers,” Bedaso said. “We want to hold courageous conversations about race during the school day (where) students can come in and SOAR members can facilitate the conversation.”
Spates said she thinks it’s important to have a safe space for students of color in the school.
“If we have a group here, kids of color that are too scared to speak up about issues they face at school can have (a place) to go to, to talk to about if they’re having problems,” Spates said.
If you’re interested in joining SOAR, check out their prompt questions and attend their meeting Oct. 12, during Park Connections, or visit their Instagram.