A Look into the Foran Racism Equity and Social Justice Committee


Black Lives Matter protest in New Haven Ct . on June 5th 2020. Photo courtesy: Liz Dong.

Salene Herrera and Melina Robotis

     In modern society, inequality and injustice are very real and prevalent issues. To spread awareness and elicit change, students and administrators created the Foran Racism, Inequity, and Social Justice Committee to fight inequality within the school. 

     Senior Liz Dong, member of the new committee, says, “This committee is working to create a positive change throughout our school and community. We are fighting for anyone who feels underrepresented by bringing issues that face Foran to light and finally addressing them how the students want to.” 

     The Foran community values its students as individuals, and this committee helps to ensure that their students feel heard. Committee members hope to create a deeper understanding of diversity and how to respect others as individuals, despite differences. Spreading awareness on prejudice and racism is a large part of what this committee will do.

     “Students should educate themselves on social injustices that people face daily,” says Dong. “I joined this committee because fighting for others is a lifelong commitment that I hope to continue in the future. As someone who has faced prejudice, I understand that my experiences are universal and translate across any group or person who feels like they are alienated because of the skin they grew up in.” 

     A number of students have said they experienced racism in their school, a place that is actually meant to be a safe place. They believe a committee like this is important so students who experience prejudice are not ignored and real change is made.

     Teacher Mrs. Shauna Newall, one of the leaders who helps run the committee, states, “Our goals are to help students become more empathetic towards individuals who may be different from them and have different experiences.” A group with goals like this allows people to be authentic to their true selves without fear of judgement.

     “We plan to do a series of lessons to work towards these goals that will be a part of English classes this year. We also have some ideas for a few campaigns on our words and how they matter. Our plan is to have this committee be something that we continue working on in the years to come,” Newall adds when elaborating on potential lesson plans and goals that the committee hopes to accomplish.

     Principal Max Berkowitz says the committee is intended to make Foran High School an even better place for students to learn and grow.

     “The ultimate goal is to strengthen our school culture to ensure ALL students feel valued and respected. We want to improve the student experience, increase awareness and address racism
and prejudice in our school and greater community. All students should feel safe, comfortable, and proud of who they are,” Berkowitz states.

     A committee like this is necessary to teach students that regardless of who they are, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. This is necessary to learn now more than ever because in today’s society there is so much inequality and injustice. Teaching acceptance and kindness is crucial to evoking real change, not only in our schools but in the world.