The Students of Color and Allies Club, aka SOCA, is essentially a space to give students of color at Notre Dame Academy a time to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns within our school and communities. SOCA has meetings every Friday in Mrs. Spearman’s music room. SOCA has recently become a club with the leadership of Javlyn Jean-Pierre ’23, Mary Clogston ’22, and Anne Florient ’22. All three of the founders had the same goal for the club: they wanted a space for students of color to have a voice and feel welcomed to use it. Anne explained that being part of a PWI, predominantly white institution, it’s important for students to be able to express their concerns and thoughts on any topic they want.
When starting the club, Anne, Mary, and Javlyn said they all felt support from the student body and faculty. They noted certain teachers including, Mrs. Adamczyk and Ms. Hewitt were extremely encouraging in starting the club. During the Club Fair back in the Fall of 2021, SOCA had over 100 sign-ups for the club-a number that nearly no other clubs have had. In their first meeting back in December, Anne and Mary recalled having a turn out of around 15 people. Despite the small number compared to the original sign-ups, both said they had a great conversation and enjoyed it thoroughly.
The most recent meeting March 4th, the club discussed the school’s efforts with Black History Month, microaggressions, and future for the club. The conversation at that meeting went into an acknowledgement of the importance teachers hold when learning about Black History Month. Many students expressed the need for teachers to be involved and passionate about breaking down bias and racism within our community. Students also began to touch upon the certain use of language within our school by students and faculty and the importance of knowing what is appropriate to say. Attending these meetings can be extremely informative and give you insights on topics you might not have considered before. I highly recommend attending a SOCA meeting and listen with an attentive open mind.
In April the club has plans for a day of Haitian food, and/or food from black owned restaurants. If you are interested in attending email any of the three leaders, Javlyn, Anne, and Mary!