Maintaining a Safe Space Through Change


Oli Devereux

MJ Lovett, Staff Writer

We have a lot of clubs at Ida B. Wells, but some of the most important ones are Affinity Clubs. They are safe spaces for POC, women, and LGBTQ+ students. They include the Black Student Union, Fem Union, Asian Desi Pacific Islander (ADPI) club, and the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA). Students can go to these clubs to express themselves with people like them. They’re very crucial, especially for people who aren’t able to fully express themselves at home.

Oli Devereux is a senior this year and leads GSA over Zoom once a week on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. with advisers Ms. Root and Ms. Patton.

GSA is an open space to talk about your experiences, and ask for help when you need it, or learn from others if you’re just curious. “The main goal above anything else is, no matter what someone’s home is like or where they are in their journey of self-discovery, this club is a safe space where people can present their identity freely and they will have an automatic support system at school,” Devereux said.

Before COVID, GSA was a popular club for frequent members and those who would come in for advice during lunch time. Common activities consisted of movie nights, open discussions, and presentations. With distanced learning some of this has changed, the number of attendees has decreased significantly, with only 5-6 people each Wednesday.

Some of the past activities are still viable but have developed to be more personal due to the low number of members. With presentations about the attendees’ own pets and other easy and fun topics, alongside the personal experiences that can be good or hard to talk about. Something that hasn’t changed, is the advice shared. 

You can find more information on their Instagram, @idabwells.gsa, or sign up for their Remind(text @whsgsa21 to 81010) If you are interested in joining GSA, you can click here for their meeting link.