W-L student activists

Student activist Nick Coughlin meets past presidential candidate and senator Elizabeth Warren.

Photo via Nick Coughlin

Student activist Nick Coughlin meets past presidential candidate and senator Elizabeth Warren.

There have been many famous activists throughout history, like Martin Luther King Jr, and more recently, Greta Thunberg or Malala. Now, after all that happened in 2020, including new movements and more people gaining awareness about politics and issues, many students are becoming activists. 

Junior Kaitlyn Cooper is an activist at the school. She is a co-captain in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Club and enjoys fighting for issues she cares about, like inequality. 

“A lot of what I enjoy focusing my activism on is helping people around me,” Cooper said. “People who are affected by certain issues that I could help with or bring awareness to.” 

She started being an activist around last year, and had specific reasons she wanted to be an activist. 

“Seeing the political and social environment and the different inequalities and sparsitys that have existed around certain groups or people made me want to help,” Cooper said. 

If you want to or have considered being an activist, Cooper has words of advice for you. 

“Nothing is too small, starting anywhere is a good point,” Cooper said. 

Activists know that everywhere, there are important issues to care for and help needed. 

“Activism is important on a global scale, because people are being negatively affected or being oppressed everywhere,” Cooper said. “I think that it is important to raise awareness and try to fight towards equality for everyone, and that’s applicable to everywhere around the world.” 

Senior Semira Lewis is another activist at the school. She cares deeply about helping victims of sexual assault, and it is one of the reasons she is an activist. 

“Nobody did anything about it,” Lewis said when talking about why she is an activist for assault victims. The school’s walkout on October 22 was related to this issue. 

When she wants to spread information, she says that social media is her favorite way to do so. 

“I try to get with the SCA at different schools to spread it as well,” Lewis said. 

She uses social media to help spread her ideas. 

“I have other seniors, they help me make graphics to post on stories, and we just tell people to keep reposting it to get the word around,” Lewis said. 

She believes that activism is important everywhere. 

“You can be able to spread what you believe in and try to evoke change, if something wrong is happening,” Lewis said. 

She also has words for students who want to become activists. 

“Do it, because if you get enough people, and you have a good cause, it’ll happen.” 

Freshman Nick Coughlin is also an activist at the school. He is in the Sunrise Club, which involves celebrity climate activists, like Greta Thunberg. 

“It’s an organization that tries to combat climate change and has done a lot of activism. We’re getting speakers, we are donating to the organization and we’re trying to encourage and find ways for the school to be more eco-friendly,” Coughlin said. 

He wants the students of W-L to be more aware of climate change. 

“In ten years, there’s gonna be a lot more flooding, parts of the world are going to be submerged, and it’s a serious problem,” Coughlin said. 

He believes that activism is important and necessary everywhere. 

“It makes you part of something, it makes you feel like you’re doing something, and it’s just important because you can change, you can stand up for something you believe in,” Coughlin said. 

He has been to multiple events before for activism, like the Women’s March. 

“You get to see everybody there, you feel like the whole world is working together and it’s just fun to walk around and fight for something you believe in, loud and proud,” Coughlin said.