MC seniors Anika Dandekar and Niha Bhaskar formed Social Justice Club their freshman year when they felt limited in their classroom conversations regarding global topics.
“I wanted to start something that we could have every week and talk about whatever we wanted,” Dandekar said. “Sometimes in class [global topic conversations] get really heated and the teacher wants you to stop talking but [in the club] we talk about whatever and everyone gets to say whatever.”
Being tuned in to current world affairs is often neglected as there are too many events for a person to feel well-informed. This unknowing creates a lack of opinion towards certain topics.
“I feel like our student body isn’t really aware,” Bhaskar said. “People don’t know what’s going on in the world and a lot of times people don’t care because they don’t know. They’re living in ignorance without knowing. It’s really important that we spread the knowledge.”
The club has spent the past years increasing their stances on a range of current issues in an interactive and all-inclusive way.
“Tuesday’s during lunch in Profe Llamas’ classroom [V1] we meet and have discussions on a wide variety of topics and every group member has the opportunity to present to the club,” Dandekar said. “We’ve covered everything from the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, the transgender bathroom bill, and the funding of Planned Parenthood, to examples of violence against women in foreign countries and police brutality. It’s a smaller group so everyone can and does participate.”
The club’s influence is not confined to their weekly meetings, as they push for positive change in their community through volunteer projects.
“We have volunteered at the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. We have marched in the [San Diego] Pride Parades for the past three years. We went to the Women’s March after the inauguration,” Dandekar said.
The club makes their mark on society through personal projects focused on improving the lives of others.
“We had a fundraiser for an organization called LIDÉ,” Dandekar said. “It was raising money to support Haitian girls with leadership through the arts and literacy. We made bracelets and cupcakes and sold them at Vons and Miramar Lake. We got $500 and we got matched so we got $1,000 to send to Haiti for those girls.”
For Social Justice Club, knowledge is power and the key to creating change where the world needs it the most.
“Education: making people self aware of what’s going on in the world, what they can do to be an advocate for what they are passionate about,” Bhaskar said. “Whether or not it agrees with everyone else, that’s fine, as long as they are able to make those decisions and put in the effort to make change.”