Lions' Digest Winter Issue 03 2020

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04 | WINTER 2020

LEARNING THROUGH LITERACY:

THE SOCIAL JUSTICE BOOK CLUB

BY ELISA EDGAR

After a critically intense year for social justice

sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement

this summer, two teenagers in State College took

it upon themselves to promote one of the most

important steps of activism: education. This past

fall, State High and

Delta students were

invited to participate

in a book club

centered around

inequality, injustice,

and activism. Led

by junior Alanis

Walters and senior

Camilla Baumer, the

Social Justice Book

Club was created

as a community

where students could

come together and

spark discussions.

After taking a

class rooted in

social justice in her

sophomore year,

Walters was inspired

to host a book club

and take advocacy

into her own hands.

The class was Delta’s

Bridging Divides,

taught by Virginia

Squier and Lorraine

McGarry, and it made a deep impact on Walters.

Students began the course by exploring the

history of racism in America, from slavery to

mass incarceration. After a field trip to Alabama,

students were assigned to create a community

project centered around social justice that would

later be presented at a fair open to the public.

Almost immediately, a book club seemed like an

obvious answer,

given Walters’

affinity for books

as a teaching tool.

“I feel like that’s

one of the best

ways of informing

people and having

active discussions

that inspire real

change rather than

just Instagram

posts. I really want

people to engage

with this kind of

topic and I feel

like books are one

of the best ways to

fully understand

something,”

Walters said.

After hearing

about the club

from Walters’

teachers, Dr. Seria

Chatters, Director

of Equity and

Inclusivity at SCASD, approached her and offered

to help put together another one, independent

from school. This new and now completely

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