Students for Social Justice Club Wins HoCo Human Rights Commission Award

Students for Social Justice given the Howard County Humans Rights Commission award. (Photo from the Wilde Lake Social Justice Club)

Students for Social Justice given the Howard County Human’s Rights Commission award. (Photo from the Wilde Lake Social Justice Club)

The Students for Social Justice Club (S4SJ) received the HoCo Human Rights Commissions Award this year, for “their meritorious hard work,” says Sajana Vigna-McLaughlin, junior and member of S4SJ.

This award “honors individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to human and civil rights in Howard County,” according to the Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity.

Students for Social Justice, a student-led club at Wilde Lake, was created in May of 2020. Since its creation, the club has educated elementary students, staged a school walk-out, and collaborated with other social justice groups around Howard County.

The club started with a group of teachers, one being principal Ms. Leonard. Eventually, the club gained and maintained a group of members.

The club meets once a week to discuss injustice in their community. “After only a couple of meetings, we quickly realized there was so much we could do for our community,” says senior and member of S4SJ, Nate Mancuso.

The members of Students for Social Justice are set on continuing to make change. Hira Khan, a senior member of Students for Social Justice, is in the club because she believes “all the members are so passionate and determined and mature.” She states “they truly care about the topics and are working to actively participate and take action which is something I admire.”

A school-wide walkout, educating students on inequalities, discussions regarding incidents such as the riot on Capitol Hill in January, trash pickups, book drives, and actively supporting buying from Asian businesses during Asian American Heritage Month, are all steps the group has taken to restore justice within the community.

“Enormous amounts of work went into the club last year,” says sophomore Ashleigh Thur.

The feeling of accomplishment in receiving this award is something all members can relate to. Sinai Strothers, a freshman, says she joined the club this year because she has opinions and ideas that she thinks can help the school. “I honestly think that it is so cool- especially since our school will be receiving it,” she says. “To me this just shows that the people in this club really do care and love what they’re doing.”

Hira Khan says she joined the club expecting it to be where “we would have presentations just to inform. But instead it was much better in reality.” She “loves being part of such an impactful club.” She says her favorite event was the elementary book drive. “it is so meaningful and will have a lasting impact and took so much effort to happen.”

“Having Students for Social Justice win this award ultimately feels empowering that a student-led group has proven we are capable of making an impact,” says Sajana.