The Gender Equality Club at Edison High School in Fresno is a group on campus dedicated to providing a safe space for feminist-minded students to come together, participate in discussion and share important news about current events in their community.
Students Angel Thomas, Zoe Miller and Alexandria Fernandez founded the club in 2016 after their class had a debate about feminist topics. The debate led the trio to realize that students needed to learn more about what it means to be described as feminist. The young ladies wanted to start a club that would spread amazing feminist messages around their school and provide useful resources to students who couldn’t otherwise get them. Their AP European History teacher loved the idea and suggested to them that she could be their adviser and help with starting the club.
After the club was created, they spread the word around their school, recruiting many students. Since then, the club has done many wonderful things. They’ve helped organize GirlCon with other schools in the Fresno Unified School District, collected donations for the Marjaree Mason Center and engaged in many protests.
The founding trio’s favorite event to participate in is club rush, an activity at Edison High School at the beginning of the school year where all the clubs on campus set up a booth during lunch so the students can get to know them. The group enjoys club rush because they get to see new faces who are interested in learning about them and what they do.
Of course, the stigma around the term “feminists” leads to the club having a harder time engaging students than other groups.
Since the club started, there have been many reactions to them, both good and bad. The club has experienced trouble retaining members due to rude reactions and comments. The club members have seen students rip their posters off of walls and have overheard side conversations in which people have made rude comments about them. Despite this, the club still is still thriving and continue spreading positivity through social media. The club members try their best to ignore the bad comments and focus on the good ones.
Calafia is yli’s statewide youth policy journal that amplifies the narratives of young people on topics and issues important to us and our communities. As we prepare our final print publication, the Calafia fellows are proud to present The Story of My City series as a way to bring you closer to the worlds we live in. Stay tuned for our publication later this year!