Voices, all of them speaking out for their own cause. These are causes and topics that need to be talked about more. Spreading the word and getting recognition is the first step to making the change.
In Camas High School, some teachers use units that they are teaching to talk about issues that need to be brought to light. This year, English teacher Mrs.Ruhiyyih Wittwer has a new curriculum and “… race inequity and race relations are probably the biggest social justice issues that I’m teaching or we’re learning together about because it is so relevant and so prevalent.” When it comes to issues that are relevant today, students want to talk about them. Last year, English teacher Mrs. Katie Seidl, learned a lot about what students like to talk about that teachers normally don’t talk about. She, “… learned last year with the seniors that when we would talk about life in high school and how it compares to life after high school, they were the most interested.” Given the right topics to talk about, the conversation can go on for hours.
There are some topics that should be talked about and should shine in the light more. Some topics that Seidl thinks people should talk about more are, “… immigration,… abortion, and women’s reproductive rights.” There are so many different issues that need to be talked about and listened to. Issues that Wittwer feels that people should talk about more are “…equity and equity of marginalized groups such as minority, racial minority, and sexual orientation.” Some other ones that people should talk about are, “People that are grouped by sexual orientation or marginalized or not given the same rights, people with disabilities, any group that is marginalized.” should be talked about according to Wittwer. Having so many issues, there are a lot of struggles that people don’t notice and Wittwer believes “…that we need to highlight their struggles and also their successes, learn what we can do to advocate if we are part of that minority, and how we can empower ourselves if we are not part of that minority.” Giving a voice to an issue is one of the most powerful actions that a person can do.
At CHS, Seidl noticed that “students want to talk about politics and political issues but they don’t want to be divided.” People do care about the issues but the students don’t want to be divided but they talk about the issues anyway. Seidl also saw that students “…want to talk about the issues and what’s going on with the issues just to be able to understand them.” Trying to understand the issues is the first step to learning and changing the issue.
All art has a purpose and speaking about issues that need to be talked about is heard clearer with art. Having a visual to the voice gives power to the words and seen and heard. If people keep making art for serious issues, eventually these will be heard and a change will come. Be the change.