The Australian feminist writer G.D Anderson said ¨Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength¨
Women’s Empowerment club was formed in the middle of December 2021 by sophomore Tessa Turnwall, whose goal was to bring awareness to women’s abuse, self-defense, and giving Ukiah High’s women the resources they need at Ukiah High School.
UHS News spoke to the president of the women’s empowerment club 10th grader Tessa Trunwall and Vice Presidents Lucille Shakman and Maleah Walley to ask about the goals and accomplishments of the club.
Turnwall said that she started the club because one of her friends in Southern California started a club similar at her own school. The club helped raise money for women’s shelters and did a lot of projects to motivate women to get into career paths usually dominated by men.
Turnwall told us when she heard about this club she felt inspired and wanted to create a club of her own at Ukiah High School. She further adds ¨I want to talk about the sexism that people don’t talk about at Ukiah High School and make a place where women can talk and feel comfortable.¨
Turnwall’s long-term goals with the club are to work on bigger projects that get the school more involved in things like self-defense class, addressing sexual assault issues, and the dress code which she wants to address.
Vice President and Ukiah High sophomore Maleah Walley said, ¨I have been in the club since it started, and I am in it because it’s a good resource for people and I want it to be beneficial to the community.¨ When asked how this club has affected her, Walley said it creates a safe space in the community and a nice environment where people can talk. Walley became co-vice president because she wanted her voice to be heard and had things to say.
The club’s other Vice President president 10th grader Lucille Shakman said:
¨I have been involved in this club since the beginning because I think the issues it brings up are very important, especially to me and I feel concerned about issues that affect women. That’s also why I became vice president with Maleah and I feel I fill my responsibility in that role.¨
Shakman thinks that the Women’s Empowerment Club brings a safe spot for young women at Ukiah High School where they can meet and discuss issues that feel ¨unjudged¨ about what they have to say.
Shakman told us she’s felt empowered and more connected to other women. She feels more connected to women around her and at Ukiah High School since being involved in this club.
Women’s empowerment club meets every Monday in Room R2 during lunch every, stop by if you’re interested.