Welcome to our first small series called "Changing Culture the Lancer Way" where we showcase current, and former, Lancers who are leading the way in living out our DEI mission.
Schools are microcosms of the larger communities, societies and nations that we live in. At Kennedy Catholic, we recognize that Lancers will leave our school environment and enter new environments that may have different values, aspirations and community cultures. While Lancers may leave the safety of our campus and the culture we are striving to create, where brave conversations are welcomed and had often, we know they are leaving with the skills and resources needed to continue to create those brave spaces and have those uncomfortable, but necessary, conversations regardless of where they land next.
Students at Kennedy Catholic are already using those skills to live out the mission of DEI and help advance Kennedy Catholic's culture through clubs. Without further ado, we bring to you current Lancers Isa M. '21, Caroline K. '22, Stephanie N. '21, Jasmine S. '22, and Ave D. '22, the founders of the Anti-Sexist Intersectional Feminism Club! We are in awe of their leadership and passion and know you will be to!
Current Kennedy Catholic students interested in joining are invited to sign up here.
What inspired you to start this club at Kennedy Catholic?
We created the Anti-Sexist Intersectional Feminism Club at Kennedy Catholic based on our shared belief that the existence of a space to learn about, and fight for, gender equity is wholly necessary. This belief is at the core of what our club is striving to continue to grow for the Lancer Family.
What is oversimplified about intersectional feminism?
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding feminism: “they hate men,” “women are already equal, and subsequently there is no need for this current movement,” “feminism is only for middle class white women,” “they’re angry,” and that if you’re a feminist, you cannot be religious. These stereotypes have been placed on women and the feminist movement for decades.
In reality, we believe our identities as Feminists to be more complex and nuanced than the general public and media would like to portray. We are of the opinion that diversity in feminism is our strength, that we can be principled, passionate young women of faith and strongly fight for gender equity. Intersectional feminism subscribes to this belief and recognizes barriers to gender equality are based not only on gender but also age, race, ethnicity, class, and religion. The goal of being an intersectional feminist is to recognize and embrace all aspects of a woman’s identity and strive to address the variety of issues we as women face.
Why is this important to you?
We want to create a space to educate and advocate with and for our peers with the intention of promoting social, political, and economic equality amongst all people. We aspire to be a club that discusses ideas and plans of action against the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes to improve our Kennedy Catholic student body. We aim to educate and encourage our peers about their collective power in creating a more just and equal community.
As a club, part of our mission is to improve our relationships with gender equity, both within the student body and in regards to our communities at large. We intend to spend meetings analyzing various texts, ideas, and debates to fully understand the concepts of anti-sexism and intersectional feminism. We hope you can join us through our exploration!
What experiences have shaped your views and passions that you'd like to share with the community?
"I am currently a junior at Kennedy Catholic and I felt motivated to participate in creating this club because from a young age, gender stereotypes were placed on me and I was, and am, constantly rejecting those ideas. From teachers asking for “two big strong boys” to carry a little box down the hall, unfair dress codes, feeling too afraid to walk anywhere at night by myself, and seeing women all over the world being treated as objects or as less powerful, less smart, and not as human beings who are intelligent, beautiful, creative, and strong. My whole life I have been able to openly express my opinions and I have always viewed the injustices within our world with a passion to help correct them. I wanted to have a club here at Kennedy Catholic that opened up a space for conversation, education, and hopefully activism. I want to spread the word that all women matter, are heard, and that we deserve equality in every aspect of our lives."
Caroline K. '22
I was lucky enough to grow up in a household that taught me the message of inclusivity, justice for the downtrodden, and love is synonymous with the message of Christianity. Since attending Women’s Marches at a young age, I was inspired by female activists, politicians, and teachers who fight for equality the same way as generations of past.
Ave D. '22
Growing up in the Catholic education system, love for all people was something that I was constantly hearing about. However, the act of treating all people, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or otherwise was not prioritized. While growing up, I realized that social inequalities have remained in the blind spot of Catholicism for so long that we’ve been conditioned to view it as normal. I began to listen and educate myself on the important conversations that need to be had so we may gain a better understanding of each other. This club is not only a resource that I will use to continue learning, but a resource that I want all students at Kennedy Catholic to feel open to use as well. Discussions about sexuality and gender can be difficult and uncomfortable. I want this club to be a safe space for all students to listen, learn, and share their experiences in order to normalize being uncomfortable together.
Jasmine S. '22
Throughout my years at Kennedy Catholic, I have witnessed the trials of various student groups fighting for places of community; it only felt right for the student body to have a place to discuss and explore gender as well.
Stephanie N. '21
In my time here at Kennedy Catholic I have both experienced and heard other’s experiences concerning unfair and unjust treatment of certain students. Knowing how difficult it can be to discuss gender and sexuality in a school setting or dealing with complex problems concerning gender equality, I wanted to create a support system which could help students who want to feel heard. I was raised in a household surrounded by strong women, women who taught me the value of working hard to gain your place at the table. These values instilled in me since I was young have motivated my desire to implement a group here at Kennedy Catholic where everyone could be represented and feel they can be honest about their personal experiences. We are living in a very complex time for minorities, and it is so important now more than ever to encourage conversation about tough topics like race, sexuality, and gender. Minorities in our student body deserve places in the school where they feel supported, and this is long overdue.
Isabella M. '21
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