At my high school, the environment was intolerable for students of minority groups. For example, there were many Holocaust jokes made towards Jewish students. Uh, there were whipping noises made at students of the African American community. Kids chanting, go back to your country, and other hateful words, and I decided it was time to make a change.
I founded Spirit Council, which is a student-led organization that combats all forms of discrimination throughout our school district. We work to diversify the curriculum, conduct assemblies, facilitate discussion, and train staff how to create a safer environment.
One of the accomplishments of Spirit that I’m most proud of is working with staff to design a new course called History and Literature of Black Civil Rights. When I hear tikkun olam, or repair the world, I think back to the rabbis who marched during the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King.
It’s our job as Jews today to continue their work and get out in the streets and fight for change.