By Rachel Jason & Elizabeth Nguyen
Hey, everyone! It’s Rachel Jason and Lizzy Nguyen with HERE, back again with a few updates!
Shoutout to Garnet Valley’s administration for being so supportive of HERE Club’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity! This past week, HERE officers and Diversity Our Narrative (DON) officers met with administrators to both follow up on progress with past initiatives and make new proposals to be incorporated throughout the district. Two of these proposals are 306, a fresh way to learn about Black history especially during this month, and the Names Project, a movement towards not only normalizing but also appreciating ethnic names.
“306: African-American History” is an online course detailing Black history as a series of modules ranging from the Transatlantic slave trade to the modern civil rights movement and onwards. The National Football League (NFL), which has been highly visible due to racial tensions in the U.S., has funded this interactive resource. 306 offers engaging videos, illustrations, and conveys information in a comprehensive yet concise way. After the HERE officers reviewed the course itself, they agree that it covers new, relevant content about Black historical figures and events that have been either glossed over or missed entirely in our social studies curriculum. They want this course in all of our classrooms regardless of age, subject, or academic level. This course is guaranteed to broaden perspectives of all backgrounds—without a doubt, it has positively exceeded their expectations.
What makes you, YOU? What do you consider part of your identity? A talent, your ethnicity, hobby, relationship? Well, to many, their name is a huge part of their identity, and HERE is a huge believer of that concept as well. Names are not just “names”, they hold cultural meanings. They hold backgrounds. They hold stories. They identify a person and who they are. There are various names in the world. Some are “simple and easy to pronounce”, whereas others are more “complicated and difficult”, however, whether their name is “complex or not”, it is still as important to learn how to pronounce them. HERE is currently working on a new project which was proposed by Mika Dela Cruz, the vice president of HERE. Although they have not created a name for the project, the initiative is believed to be meaningful and educational. In our school, there are many students with ethnic names, however, the majority of them are not called those names. It is either the shorter version or it has never been pronounced correctly. Many of them have become so accustomed to a different pronunciation of their name, ever since a young age, that it does not phase them anymore. Correctly pronouncing an individual’s name is the bare minimum and all it truly requires is effort. So, the goal of the project is to honor names— to preserve respect. It is volunteer-based, so any members of HERE can participate if they would like to. Whether or not their name is “difficult to pronounce”, they are still encouraged to participate, because all names matter and all names hold an identity.
HERE x GSA COLLAB
This Thursday, 2/25/21, HERE and GSA will be hosting a joint presentation for Black History Month featuring intersectionality. Their respective civil rights movements are intertwined in history – this reflects how important it is to stand together instead of separately to fight for equality in the same system that marginalizes these communities. We cannot be pro-Black without advocating against oppression for all of its members including the LGBTQ+ community. HERE encourages you to drop by and learn something new!