Social Justice Organization plans future proceedings; students get involved

Students+protest+while+blocking+Grand+on+March+12th+after+the+Department+of+Justice+report+came+out+on+the+Michael+Brown+case.+The+protest+was+to+maintain+awareness+of+the+Ferguson+crisis.+++
Back to Article
Back to Article

Social Justice Organization plans future proceedings; students get involved

Students protest while blocking Grand on March 12th after the Department of Justice report came out on the Michael Brown case. The protest was to maintain awareness of the Ferguson crisis.

Students protest while blocking Grand on March 12th after the Department of Justice report came out on the Michael Brown case. The protest was to maintain awareness of the Ferguson crisis.

Jerell McCole

Students protest while blocking Grand on March 12th after the Department of Justice report came out on the Michael Brown case. The protest was to maintain awareness of the Ferguson crisis.

Jerell McCole

Jerell McCole

Students protest while blocking Grand on March 12th after the Department of Justice report came out on the Michael Brown case. The protest was to maintain awareness of the Ferguson crisis.

Following the events in Ferguson, students decided to create the Social Justice Organization, a group that meets after school once a week, to help provide an outlet for students’ voices to be heard. Evan Smith, ninth grade U.S. History teacher, is an adviser of the group organized by students.

“Students wanted an organization to help them process the killing of Mike Brown, and the non-indictment of Darren Wilson,” said Smith.

So far, the organization has arranged a walk out and a march for Michael Brown.

Shaquana Williams leads discussion in the Social Justice Organization about the Department of Justice Report. The group meets once a week after school.

Elyse Luecke
Shaquana Williams leads discussion in the Social Justice Organization about the Department of Justice Report. The group meets once a week after school.

“It was successful and it alerted administrators to let their surrounding community know that they [students] are teens fighting for justice peacefully,” said sophomore, and co-founder of the organization Shaquana Williams about the walk out.

The organization also attended a conference at the CGO (Center for Global Organization) on St. Louis University’s campus to spread awareness and address racism. Junior Jerell McCole spoke at the conference about the LGBT community, as well as identity factors. Williams spoke about racism in the classroom.

Recently, the Social Justice Organization added another event to its track record. Students organized a silent march on March 12th for black teenagers and adults who have been killed unarmed. This march took place after school at 3:30, shutting down Grand Avenue.

“It will definitely let people know GCAA wants justice, because a lot of people  don’t know what’s going on, or how many people have died,” said Williams.

Many events motivated this march, such as the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Wisconsin and the results of the federal investigation of the Michael Brown shooting. Williams said people think that the protests have stopped, but the organization wants to let them know that it didn’t stop at Michael Brown.

“[Students] can come to us and they will see what justice looks like…to peacefully fight for justice and to voice their opinion in a safe environment,” said Williams.

Currently, the organization is in the process of creating a retreat the second to last week of the school year for 10th graders, due to bickering, interruptions in the classroom, and selfish behavior that has been observed.

“We found that the 10th graders have behavioral problems and we feel like it’s due to lack of family and care for each other,” said Williams.

The sense of healing, caring for others, and team building are integrated in all of the group’s activities.

“To empower students, to voice their ideas, and exercise their power to realize a more just world,” Smith said is the main focus of the organization.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email