With over 50 student-run organizations, Broughton has a club for everyone – no matter the interest or the activity. Beginning with the annual club fair in September, fresh, new groups join the old at the picnic area booths. Some wither out, either due to dithering leadership and poor planning, or simply a lack of interest and commitment. Others stay, and transform from a few nervous leaders and curious members into a reputable and purposeful element of the Broughton community. A rising star among the latter, the People of Color Union is gaining attention from students and staff.
The Union, is run by Gloria Nsiku, Ruth Nsiku, and Skylar Zion, and advised by humanities teacher Tina Bartlett and mathematics teacher Stephanie Profio-Miller. It strives to promote diversity, change, and education. The leaders and advisors hope that their group will serve as a bridge, between students of color and the administration, as well as other students.
“Broughton needs this club because students should be aware and informed of issues that [happen] around the school, the country – just everywhere – about people of color and what they go through,” senior Gloria Nsiku comments, after an open discussion meeting focused on administration-student conflicts.
With such a tense issue the expected atmosphere would be heavy with tension, but in reality, every opinion was welcomed and respected, and every individual had a chance to share their thoughts.
The club tackles a variety of problems through activities, seminars, and speakers, and each meeting brings something new to the table. Each subject is pressing, relevant, and recent – such as the law and justice system, cultural appropriation and gender roles. All topics consist of concrete impact on student life.
Senior Skylar Zion hopes the club will send an important message about the diversity among the people of color community – another subject discussed within the Union’s meetings.
“When people walked by our poster during the club fair, they kind of chuckled and rolled their eyes at us. I think people should be aware that POC is more than just black students. It is also Asians, Hispanics, Latin Americans, and Middle Easterners,” Zion said.
Racism and ignorance have always existed in our society, but the club began in the year 2017 for a specific reason. A humanities teacher for eighteen years, Tina Bartlett believes that reason to be government.
“There has always been a need [for the People of Color Union], but that need definitely escalated due to shifting politics, both positive and negative.”
Bartlett hopes the club will help to improve race relations at the school – especially in light of the present political atmosphere.
“All possible relations, student-teacher, student-student, and teacher-teacher, can benefit from the Union. The club is a voice for those who feel voiceless and hopefully will create change. It’s a safe place for people to express their feelings. We wants kids to feel as if they have a place to seek help or advice” Bartlett said.
As advisors, Bartlett and Profio-Miller record notes during the meeting (keeping all specific comments confidential), and take their concerns to administrators on training days. By doing this, they hope that the students themselves can help teachers and faculty how to handle certain situations in order to make Broughton an equally educational and safe environment.
Beginning with a passionate idea, the club has evolved into a union with strong purpose. Meeting every first Thursday of the month in room 1316 (Profio Miller, first floor), from 2:30 to 3:30 – People of Color Union enthusiastically welcomes new, interested members of all genders and all races with open arms.