The EmpowHER club is all about the rights of women. Even though it’s a relatively new organization, it already has many members. We spoke with three of its members and its advisor, Ms. Serafina Warner.
Q: Why did you join/create this club?
Serafina Warner (Advisor): So last year, we had an interim principal who was very supportive of us taking a group of female students to a girl’s leadership workshop at Portland State University. It was a really great workshop, [and] was really inspiring to the girls that we took.
When we came back from the [day-long event], we talked about what they [wanted] to bring back from that [workshop] to Aloha. They decided they wanted to start a girl’s leadership troop. We were able to start meeting weekly, and it’s just grown from there.
Peyton Morris (Sophomore): [I joined] because I thought it would be a good place to visit and meet new people, and also I thought it’d be a good place to raise awareness for something [that] I believe in.
Jeremiah Erikson (Senior): It’s a good outlet to share your opinions and talk with people about how you feel about certain issues, [people who might not think the same things as you. But I think everyone here generally thinks the same. It’s just a fun way to talk about stuff you don’t normally talk about.
Staysa Jackson (Senior): I was a part of the original group that started [EmpowHer]. It was formed after we went to a girl’s leadership conference last year, and I decided to be a part of starting it because we needed a space for girls to feel “EmpowHer’d.”
Q: So, what were your goals in creating the club?
Jackson: The goal in creating the club was to create an environment where it was okay for women to feel empowered. We wanted to give girls a space to speak to one another and discuss issues that pertain to us in the modern world, and well as create awareness of things like sexism, male privilege, and intersectionality.
Warner: We have a mission statement, which is to connect women and help educate them through inspiration and communication. That’s basically what our goal is: to empower young women in a bunch of different ways. We have the leadership conference we want to attend again [in 2017]; the group is putting together donations for [Raphael’s Life House], which is a women’s shelter in Portland; and then also inviting members to come and listen to discussions about different topics. We pick a [new] topic every week… and the students take turns leading the discussion.
Q: What did you think of the Women’s March on Portland?
Warner: I [t]hink it was [a] fantastic way for people to come together and support each other and express how they’re feeling about different issues going on right now.
Jackson: I was all for it. I couldn’t go, I really wanted to. I one-hundred percent supported it, and I think it was one of the greatest things that has ever happened in this country.
Morris: I thought of it as a good way to show how many people actually support women and our rights in this country, and how we may or may not be in danger because of the leaders we choose.
Erikson: I think it was a better expression of how people feel in America right now, about how people feel about what’s going in the government, [and] the different things that have gone on in the past like [other] protests and such. I think this is the best way to show what people think.
If you are interested in joining the club, meetings are in room E-5 on Thursdays after school. Their meetings are usually an hour long. For more information, contact Ms. Warner.