P.A.C.T. is a brand new club that is for bringing People of All Colors and Cultures Together. The purpose of this club is to create an outlet for the exchange of cultural and racial understanding and exploration. Sophomore Kristen Davenport created the club with the help of advisor Joel Logan.
Davenport explained that the idea for this club actually came to her through dialogue with her family about joining extracurriculars. As a new student, who is a person of color, she didn’t feel like she “fit in.” So, she decided to create a place where she and others would “fit in.”
Through the support of guidance counselor Joyce Marburger, Davenport asked English teacher Joel Logan to be the advisor for this potential club. According to Davenport, he was very helpful and interested in the idea.
Logan said, “I have a personal and academic interest in being a sympathetic resource to students concerned with diversity issues at K-D.” Logan grew up in a very non-diverse setting, so he wanted to help students who are going through the same thing.
With Davenport’s support, Logan spoke with Principal Heather Venne who gave her approval and presented the idea to the school board. They approved of the club during March’s meeting.
At this point, the club has met twice so far, with their first meeting occuring in March.
Currently, there are seven members to the club; Davenport said, “These people are the most confident, open minded people; they care so much about what we are trying to do.”
Davenport has also appointed a vice president, sophomore Miranda Throne. “She has the same passion as me and a strong opinion. I think that we would work great together, and she would help me make the club better.”
The club is trying to create a space for students to confidently gather and learn to appreciate the differences among us. A place to feel safe in asking questions and learning new things about the different cultures and races, not only within our school, but our community and world.
Throne believes this is a necessary club for our school.
Focus and content for this club is something Logan already has an understanding of. Back when he was a summer adjunct at The College of New Jersey, Logan taught and eventually rewrote the syllabus for a course called “Race, Class, and Gender in the United States.” He looks forward to bringing this experience and knowledge to our school.
The club usually starts off with a fun team building game just to get everyone comfortable, then a member or leader will make a presentation about a culture or a person that they think is important and they wanted to learn more about. Afterwards, they do an activity based on that culture. Davenport said,“We learn and we have fun; everyone pitches in to help.”
Topics the club hopes to cover include exploration of different cultures and the traditions and views within them. They also hope to discuss race–offering a forum for discussion and understanding regarding the struggles many people of color face in the world today.
The goal of the club is to create a safe and open environment of cultural and racial exchange, understanding, and support.
“I hope [the club] opens their minds […] to know that some things are not ok there, and that we shouldn’t sit back and watch the world go wrong. As teens we have the power to say something and help. It’s a learning experience for us all,” Davenport said.