Equity committee to unite Cal high students

Elena Ramos and Evelyn Patro

Opinion columns reflect the view of the writer.

Imagine a perfect world where everyone is fair with each other and respectful of everyone. That is what San Ramon Unified School District is trying to achieve in the future.

The district is doing many things to combat the equity problems in the district and is thinking of other ways equity can be spread. What is equity? Equity is a term used to describe fairness and justice to everyone. 

As a student senator responsible for spreading equity in the district, we are currently working on an equity related art project. With the theme “Show Your Voice”, contestants can submit works that show who they are. The goal of the project is to celebrate people’s true selves. This will spread equity as people can feel special and appreciated for their presence. 

The only way our district can further the goals of the Social Equity Committee is by education. People are simply unaware that they are discriminating against people since that’s what they have been seeing and hearing for their whole lives. Currently, a district level video is being made to teach people about bystanders and what to do if you notice someone getting harassed in any way. From teaching what the word bystander means to making sure both the victim and bully are okay, this video goes through all of the little details that everyone can learn at least a few things from. 

Another way education of equity can be spread is through forums and speaker events. The district can bring in professionals to talk about justice and teach people what or what isn’t okay. Even if people listen to just a few things in the forums, it can make a great impact on our society. When Keith Hawkins was invited to our school to present, every single kid came out of the Event Center a better person and I could tell because of the way people were treated a week or two after the event. After the third week, people began to forget what happened in the event, which is why the district needs to continuously have events and gatherings to talk about these issues. Not only should the forums be for students, it should also be given to teachers, parents and workers so everyone in our society can work on a better community together. 

Furthermore, students are constantly scrolling through social media platforms such as Instagram, so creating an Instagram account that spreads awareness about equity could also do a great deal of education. Creating short videos and colorful posts that catch people’s attention can make people stop and think about what they are doing in the equity realm and if they need to change how they are acting towards other people. The videos shown on the page can include activities where people have a chance to play the role as a victim so they can see the damage microaggressions cause. 

Having a cultural day in high schools can also further equity as it can highlight people’s cultures and identities. There could be an event where people dress up in their culture’s clothes and do something related to their traditions. This could include creating food that they grew up eating, performing a unique dance style that has been based down through generations, or even singing a song in one’s native language. Instead of judging people’s customs, having an event where people can celebrate other cultures will promote equity as people will think of differences as something to appreciate rather than make fun of. 

Overall, equity isn’t being implemented because people are unaware. Teaching about microaggressions in forums and speaker events will do a great deal of furthering the goals of the Social Equity Committee.

Elena Ramos and Evelyn Patro are Cal High seniors who are members of the Student Senate and its Social Equity Committee.