By BRITNEY LOPEZ
Redlands High School students are no strangers to social movements, such as Women’s marches, representation of Black History month, and other worldwide movements through their involvement in social justice clubs like the Femme Club.
Femme is short for Feminist club and they meet in Spanish teacher Noemi Villagrana’s classroom every Friday to give women a platform for empowerment and spread awareness of social justice issues. The club demographic is mainly female, but everyone is allowed to partake in discussions and volunteering options.
There are common misconceptions of being a feminist that the club tries to dispel, such as despising the opposing gender. Feminism, by definition, and according to club goals, strives for equality for all genders. Feminism is all-inclusive and not gender-specific, although many mistake the support of equal rights for women as women trying to prove superiority. The Femme Club tries to show that this simply is not the case and that to allow for equal rights; advancements of women must be supported in order to pursue liberty for all.
More than 15 Femme members attended the Women’s March in Riverside on January 19. This was not a club-sponsored activity. The march especially hit close to home because one of the public speakers of the event, councilwoman Denise Davis, is native to Redlands. Some members of Femme marched with supporting signs and participated by chanting ideals of feminism.
They also plan volunteering events with organizations specifically aimed towards helping women and children. They are involved in a six-week long process with Hannah’s House and the Thrive organization. This program caters to women and children, who have been in or are in domestic abuse situations. The Thrive program provides shelter and sanction for these families in order for them to get back on their feet by helping grow and garden sustainable fruits and vegetables to consume. Everything in the garden is a product of volunteer work and engaging sponsors.
The members of Femme Club devote Sundays from 12-2 to help build the garden for the women and children of domestic violence. Most of the household members of the Thrive organization housing are children under the age of 12. Femme members are not the only volunteers of this event, but also influential women of the Redlands community. The children themselves are also playing a huge role, with their involvement. Amongst these women, are doctors, nurses, dentists and many others. Femme club plans to work further with these organizations.
Although Femme is a high school club, they play an important role by bringing awareness to this important cause. The ongoing inequality is in process of elimination, with each joining member of Feminism. Students at Redlands High School interested in joining are welcome to attend meetings in room R-210 on Fridays.