Clubs to turn anger to community on Inauguration Day

by | December 21, 2016 | in News | No Comments

ASB and various clubs are working together to hold an event called Share Y(our) Voice, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, at Lake Merritt.

Speakers, educational booths, and an interactive mural will hopefully be a part of the event to celebrate diversity in the Bay Area community, said president of Voice Cooperation Club junior Maya Guzdar.

“On that day, Trump is sharing his voice, spreading his message, what he’s going to do for our country,” Guzdar said. “So on that day, we’re going to share our voice, and say what we’re going to do and what we want for our country.”

The event is not labeled as a protest, but rather as a place where people can appreciate our community and nation, said ASB member and Feminism Club president senior Natalie Stollman.

“It’s good that people are trying to share their voices and spread positivity with this instead of turning it into an angry type of protest,” junior Maggie Lucas said.

In addition to the speakers, there will be booths where people can educate themselves about, and donate to, organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, and NAACP. There will also hopefully be a giant canvas, provided by ArtisMobilUs, where people will be able to express their thoughts visually in the form of a massive mural, Guzdar said.

“Hopefully it will be educational, with all the speakers we’re trying to find,” Stollman said. “The people who come will hopefully gain some new insight and some new motivation to be active in their social justice pursuit.”

The students involved are working with Daniels and the rest of the administration to try to end school earlier than 2:55 p.m. on that Friday so students are able to attend the event without having to miss class.

“Initially, we were doing it with or without [the administration],” Service Learning president senior Hanna Marcus said.

The day of the event was also originally in flux, but now the date, Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, is almost finalized.

“We had some discourse regarding what time of day it should be, and whether it should be the day of inauguration, or on the Saturday,” Stollman said. “We were planning on having it start at 2 p.m. [on Friday], which would interfere with school, but we thought it would be more powerful as it is the actual day of inauguration.”

Different clubs and individual students have been holding meetings to begin planning the event. Black Student Union, Service Learning, Feminism Club, and Gender Sexuality Alliance are all involved with the planning. Assistant principal Eric Mapes and principal Brent Daniels attended a meeting as well.

During the first planning meeting, attendees were assigned to contact speakers or the city of Oakland in case a permit was needed, Stollman said.

The various clubs at PHS represent a lot of the topics that have risen in wake of the election, which makes this even more meaningful since these topics hit close to home for many students, Marcus said.

Even though PHS students are organizing the event, it is open to the larger community, including Oakland high schools, and even people passing by Lake Merritt. It is unknown if teachers or administration will attend.

“We’re definitely going to publicize it on social media, and hopefully people will just start talking about it,” Stollman said.

Senior Caroline Dunlap and junior Ellie Coleman wrote and submitted an application for the Appreciating Diversity Grant for 1200 dollars to the Appreciating Diversity Committee. Seven hundred dollars of that will go to paying for the speakers and 500 dollars will go to ArtisMobilUs, Guzdar said.

The planners of the event said they are hoping for a grant from ASB for security, and donations from local businesses to help with overall costs.