MSWB Club: Seeking a More Inclusive School for All

MSWB+club+posing+with+their+custom+t-shirts+last+year.

MSWB club posing with their custom t-shirts last year.

Middle school is tough for everyone at one point, especially if you don’t know anything about where you come from. Alivia Seard, a Black middle school student, was brainstorming ways to help Black students at Oak connect and learn more about their background. What better way than an on-campus club? 

“I wanted to have a place where people, myself included, could feel safe… where they could say what they feel without feeling judged,” says Alivia. Starting in 2019 with Ms. Sicola Elliot sponsoring her club, she began the MSWB club or the Middle School while Black club. It continues this year at Oak.

Black students face many issues around their identity, especially in predominantly white schools. It becomes more difficult to learn about their culture or be around people who look like you. Having representation and space on campus is important to these students.

“To be able to come somewhere where people know and understand what’s going on in your life and to be able to talk about it, I think that’s huge,” Alivia says. The MSWB club is all about connecting and learning more about your identity. 

According to our recent Los Alamitos Unified District newsletter, Ms. Nadia Williams, a 5th grade teacher at LAE, was recently named the Diversity Equity and Inclusion TOSA. She plans on “making diversity equity and inclusion part of our daily practice across the district.” The district is increasingly working towards a more inclusive community for their diverse students and making campuses a welcome place for all.

The MSWB club is doing its part in helping Oak’s Black students feel more comfortable and included at school. To allow students to open up and share their experiences, they play games and do activities often that help with making surroundings more familiar to students. 

They also bring their experiences to the whole campus and work to educate all students. For Black History Month in 2020, they hung posters around campus educating students on historical Black figures and created an escape room to demonstrate achievements made by Black men and women.

It’s not an easy subject to talk about for most people, and when you’re in middle school the topic is often avoided. This makes the club a safe space for Black students to talk, learn, and grow as a person.