Students for Social Justice tackles social issues


Lenore Ferguson

While there have been many difficulties as the 2020-2021 school year kicks off, students have been able to overcome challenges and go beyond academics. Juniors Stella Whitefield and Gabby Pugliese have created a club, Students for Social Justice (SSJ), in order to bring attention to social justice.
“I hope to accomplish a better overall attitude towards social justice in SPFHS,” Whitefield said. “Also, I hope to organize protests and demonstrations so that our voices can be heard as a group.”
This club is not only meant to raise awareness, but also to start difficult conversations on social issues. 
Although Whitefield and Pugliese encourage conversations, Whitefield specifies that SSJ meetings are not a time to debate human rights issues. 
“While one of SSJ’s focuses is discussion, we discuss events to become more educated on them so that we can learn to assist, and not to oppose.” Whitefield said. 
SSJ is a great club for students who wholeheartedly care for social justice and want to be further informed. 
“They [students] are always welcome to come to a SSJ meeting just to see if they like it,” Whitefield said. “They aren’t tethered to the club… I just want people to absorb what we talk about, and once they become comfortable and more informed (if they are not already), then they can speak their minds.” 
Due to the current social climate in America that has drawn attention to issues such as systemic racism and police brutality, students have taken an interest in promoting necessary change. 
“This club is beyond important to me because it fights for change in a society that can be reluctant to promote it,” Whitefield said. “I believe that there are many people who want to assist in change, but feel ashamed of doing so when nobody else is.”
Whitefield encourages students to join and take interest in the current social climate. All students are welcome to join, despite any bias. 
“I can recognize bias, and understand that just because the media portrays a topic a certain way doesn’t mean that it is true,” Whitefield said. 
Whitefield adds that one of SSJ’s goals is to spread unbiased information from impartial sources.
“I would like to add that anyone is able to suggest a topic for SSJ to discuss in our meetings,” Whitefield said. 
Whitefield and Pugliese invite students to reach out with questions and promote students to interact with the SSJ instagram page with any questions or concerns. SSJ’s second meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 11:25 to 11:50 to discuss LGBTQ+ rights.