A fight against hate

Justice and Diversity League fights against bullying and prejudice in public schools


Photo courtesy of Skyler Johnson

Juniors Lili G. Chavez, Brinly Lehmann, and Maggie Scott promote the signing of a No Place for Hate poster to spread the message of the Anti-Defamation League

Bowie Zekpa, Staff Reporter

As the school year progresses, Justice and Diversity League has displayed numerous movements just outside the library such as hispanic heritage month, black history month and a pride month display. Recently focusing on a cause called ‘No Place for Hate,’ in attempts to make Millard West a safe space for everyone.

Inclusivity is nothing new to this club and its peers. J&DL focuses on spreading awareness about multiple things throughout the year. With actions such as their displays and spreading their message through their social media page @justiceanddiversity on Instagram, their objective is to get their word out to as many people as they can.

“I’ll share with you the language of our club mission statement,” club sponsor and history teacher Bryant Bull said. Our diversity club strives to promote and defend social justice at Millard West High School and within the larger community. A regular meeting involves our club members working on projects like our National Hispanic Heritage Month display outside the library, or No Place For Hate banner that we’re asking students and staff to sign during lunch this week.”

The No Place For Hate program was created by the Anti-Defamation League, which is an international non-government organization that focuses on civil rights and law. No Place for Hate is an anti-oppression campaign made for students, run by primarily students. They get feedback from around the school and the students themselves. Gaging the problems in the building and discussing what they can do about them and how they can bring them to light.

“We encourage students to educate themselves on current issues in the world as well as various backgrounds and cultures,” sophomore Skylar Johnson said. “To encourage those afraid to stand up for diversity, I would emphasize the importance of diversity in the classroom. Students who grow up in a diverse environment have higher levels of empathy, are more open minded, and have a better understanding of the world.”

Their fight for diversity helps those in and out of the classroom. They think about real world settings and life after high school, teaching those how to respond and deal with situations that could happen to anyone. One response can dictate how the rest of a conversation can go so doing so appropriately is important. The club discusses how to inform people of how they can make the world a better place. Our school has won the award before, some of those being 2016 and just recently for the 2020-21 school year.

“We encourage inclusivity by making displays that work to educate and celebrate others about the different unique individuals within our school and community,” junior Hagar Elaraky said. “I would tell them to think about their ‘differences’  and how they would feel if someone pointed them out in a negative or criticizing way. And if you say something “non-inclusive” simply apologize and correct yourself and remember for next time.”

While a fight against something so big can be a challenge and something that may take a long time, Justice and Diversity League doesn’t back down at the challenge. As they continue to try and make school a safer place for everyone, we all notice the great effects.