WHS starts the Students of Color Club


Photo courtesy of Lisa Thomas

The Students of Color Club at the HBCU fair in November

A new club has been formed at WHS called the Students of Color Club. It was started by Club President, Madison Wright, and Special Education Teacher Lillian Alston, who serves as the club advisor.

According to Wright, she was approached last school year by Alston, and was asked how she felt as a minority at WHS. “I told her I have never felt like I was incapable of pursuing anything that made me feel embarrassed of my race,” said Wright.

Alston mentioned that Wright was the first Black woman she had ever seen take an AP Physics class or be a member of the girls varsity tennis team. This observation made them come to the realization that a club was needed to change this.

Over the summer, and in the beginning of the school year, the two discussed ways in which they could help all students of color at WHS. This club provides an environment where minorities who may feel embarrassed, disadvantaged or in need of a community in school, can talk and relate to one another.

“At times it can be difficult and overwhelming to feel like you are an outlier,” said Wright. “To just have a community of people who may look like you, experience similar things and give you advice is extremely impactful and necessary.”

The club’s goal is to meet once a month. In November, the club went to Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair. The fair is for Black students who have positively impacted their community to get recruited and offered college scholarships.

“It is an advantage for students of color because it is a place where they get accepted on site,” said Alston. According to Alston, in the spring, the club plans on taking a trip to Washington D.C to see the Museum of African American History and Culture. “I want them to see the museum because it is a celebration of their culture through art and music. I want the students to see what those before them have done to be where they are [now],” said Alston.

In upcoming meetings, club members will discuss their ideas on how to improve the school based on their own experiences. Alston will then communicate their ideas to WHS Principal Mary Asfendis.

One topic of discussion is the lack of minorities in rigorous honors and advanced placement classes at WHS. “A person of color is always going to be a minority and society should not prevent Black students from thriving in harder classes simply due to their skin color,” said Alston. “WHS is a place where you can get a great education and I did not want color to be a reason not to do well.” Members of the club will offer tutoring and resources to overcome this obstacle.

Wright’s goal for the club is to create a community where students of color can continue to grow. She hopes to recruit new members to have lively conversations and build friendships.

If you’re interested in becoming a member, you can contact Wright or Alston. “This club is for all students of color who want to join no matter your ethnicity or race. We want to welcome everybody and create a safe space for anyone who would like to join,” said Wright.