Students in Activism: ACLU

As Jane Goodall once said, “Young people, when they understand the problems, are empowered to take action”. ACLU EBHS is a great place to start.

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Alefiya Presswala, Bear Hub Staff

As a teen in today’s day and age, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the ongoing issues around the globe. We face climate change, racism, homophobia, etc.  and sometimes it’s hard to figure out where we can help. Sometimes it’s difficult to even pick out a starting point. Fortunately though, students have recently stepped up in enormous numbers to join the world of activism, and some of them are right here at EBHS!
ACLU, which stands for American Civil Liberties Union, is a new club at EBHS, started by seniors and co-presidents, Shresta Belede and Sreyansh Biswal.

The official goal of ACLU EB reads: “Students will disseminate information regarding civil liberties issues present in society today and promote discussion and awareness of these issues in a productive environment, ultimately resulting in a better informed future generation of adults.”
Sreyansh Biswal, 12, breaks it down for us: “My main goal with ACLU is to give other EBHS students a platform for activism beyond social media that would have an impact on the national level.”

 

Senior Sreyansh Biswal, co-president of ACLU EBHS, displays his ACLU membership card. You can get your own by donating to aclu.org.

 

With ACLU, “we can work to make a change starting from within our own administration in order to bring equity in every aspect of our own communities,” adds Shresta Belede, 12.

 

Shresta Belede, 12, proudly shows off her ACLU shirt labeled: ‘Dissent is Patriotic’. She says, “I decided to restart ACLU EBHS in order to bring awareness of ongoing social justice issues in our own school community!”

 

In order to accomplish these goals, the executive board of ACLU will be hard at work. EBHS students can expect to see events like phone and text banks, donation drives, and webinars with guest speakers. These events will cover topics like LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, religious freedom, gender equality, immigration, police abuse, and more. The main focus is to educate people on these issues and come up with solutions that we, as teenagers, can take part in.
EBHS junior Emma Pusung, a general member of ACLU, explains that she thinks “joining an activist club is one of the best ways to start learning about these topics, especially because you are surrounded by others who are just as passionate about the subjects.”

“I’ve only been to one meeting about the election and I already feel like I know so much more! I’m excited to see what ACLU has in store for this year,” Pusung enthusiastically adds.
I think we can all agree with Emma when we say that we’re looking forward to seeing what ACLU is bringing to the table this school year. To learn more about ACLU, you can follow them on Instagram @acluebhs, email them at [email protected], or join their Microsoft Teams at tinyurl.com/acluebhsteam.

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At the core of the ACLU Club’s values is advocacy work and helping give a voice to those who don’t traditionally have a seat at the table…East Brunswick High School has so many clubs, with many great messages and goals, but I find the ACLU Club unique because of their action-based strategy to working with issues that are currently facing our country and community.”

— Mr. Segall, Club Advisor