Achievement Gap Ad hoc
Drawing from personal experience and observation of decreased representation for Latino students in Advanced placement classes, this committee of one conducted a survey and created a report addressing the education gap between Latino students and their Caucasian peers in Sonoma Valley. The report was presented at the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights’ Education Forum in Sonoma Valley on March 28th and shared with Sonoma Valley educators, administrators, and school board trustees.
Homelessness Ad hoc
In an effort to spread awareness around the issues of homelessness in our community, and to bring attention to the need for more housing, this committee held a public Forum on Homelessness, featuring speakers from partner organizations that provide services to the homeless population, and partnering members of the public with volunteer opportunities. They also created a short film featuring interviews with members of the homeless community.
Human Trafficking Ad hoc
This committee promoted Strong Survival, the 2016-2017 junior commission documentary intended to spread awareness about human trafficking through the story of local survivor and activist Maya Babow. The film was shared with all middle and high school administrators, screened at various events and high school presentations were organized with Ms. Babow. The committee also developed a one page fact sheet with information and statistics about human trafficking that exists in our own community, in partnership with sexual assault victims’ advocacy organization Verity. The one sheet was distributed to all middle and high school administrators with a request to share the information with parents to spread awareness and help protect students from traffickers.
Immigrant’s Rights Ad hoc
The Immigrant’s Rights committee created a presentation on Myths vs. Truths about the immigrant community for schools, serving over 600 students. In an effort to spread awareness to their peers and provide support for DACA students in their own communities, they also created a poster campaign urging students to engage their members of Congress to enact a Clean Dream Act. They distributed Know Your Rights cards and created the short documentary film DACA: The Basics.
March For Our Lives Ad hoc
This emergency committee, responding to the Parkland shooting, organized a youth directed rally in downtown Santa Rosa which drew estimates of 2,000-5,000 people. The event featured youth speakers, community organizers and elected officials chosen entirely by the junior commission, in partnership with Petaluma Moms Demand Action, Indivisible Sonoma County, and the Latin Student Congress.
Mental Health and Illness Ad hoc
Realizing that mental health intersects with many other issues and noting the decrease in services available at many high schools, this committee created an anonymous, online survey to study the perceptions of high school students and the culture surrounding mental illness. Participants answered a set of questions in English and Spanish about their feelings about mental health concerns and their perceptions of available support. The committee compiled the data into a report and recommendations that they shared with Sonoma county high schools.
Racial Equality in Sonoma County Ad hoc
With a goal of promoting awareness of the racial issues that exist in our community, this committee created a comprehensive report explaining the data results of the 2016-2017 anonymous, online, peer-to-peer survey open to all Sonoma County high school students to evaluate racial climate in their schools. The report along with recommendations to improve school climate around race, was distributed to Sonoma county high school administrators and district superintendents. The committee participated in several workshops as part of the Day of Dialogue event at Maria Carrillo High School. The report was used to hold a community forum on racism in schools in Petaluma in early 2019.
This committee also manages the Facebook page Real Humans of Sonoma County, a source of compelling stories from our diverse community. https://www.facebook.com/realhumansofsonomacounty/