Activism club attends Moral March

ByJohn Dixon

Read the full article at RRDailyHerald.com >

KIPP Pride is an institution that prides itself on the integration of social justice into its curriculum. In an effort to further its stated goal of producing socially conscious graduates, the school’s Young Activists Club attended Saturday’s Moral March on Raleigh.

The march, now in its 11th year is meant to “fight for an intersectional agenda to support public education, economic sustainability, workers’ rights and livable wages, health care for all, Medicaid expansion, environmental justice, equal protection under the law without regard to race, immigration status, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, voting rights for all, and criminal justice” according to the Historic Thousands on Jones St. coalition, which organizes the event.

Prior to attending the march, the Young Activists Club hosted Halifax NAACP president David Harvey and Kim Yaman from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America prior to attending the trip. Yaman was one of the speakers at Saturday’s march.

Brett Noble, 11th grade chair and English teacher accompanied students to the march and believed it was a positive experience for all involved.

“Students enjoyed participating in the march very much and felt like they were part of something bigger than our own small community,” he said. “We talk a lot about social justice, and actually going and marching with thousands of people made our conversations feel more real. They loved encountering people with diversity of opinions on so many issues and walked away with more questions than answers about everything from the role of charter schools to HB2’s impact on our state, to environmental issues both local and national.

The Young Activists Club is in its founding year, meaning this was the first year the students attended the march as a group. Noble hopes to make attendance at the march an annual event. It appears Noble’s perception of the march as a positive experience was shared by students as well.

“I enjoyed participating in the march very much and felt like I was part of something bigger than my own small community. We talk a lot about social justice, and actually going and marching with thousands of people made our conversations feel more real,” said Rayshawn Powell, a KIPP Pride High School senior.

“I loved encountering people with diversity of opinions on so many issues and walked away with more questions than answers about everything from the role of charter schools to HB2’s impact on our state, to environmental issues both local and national.

“The conversation with other marchers was encouraging because while I agreed on some issues, I also disagreed on others, and we were able to have meaningful dialogue through it all. Talking with strangers pushed me on my thinking and gave me confidence to do it my own community.”

Senior Mary Marshall expressed similar sentiments.

“Even though I do not agree with all the issues, it put me into a position where I was able to still hear what other people were saying,” she said. “At the same time, it reinforced some of the beliefs I already have. I listened and took in what they were saying, and also left feeling strong about my beliefs.”

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