Flora Montcho starts Sisterhood club

Members+of+the+Sisterhood+club+playing+Uno+and+bonding+after+school+on+Wednesday%2C+Jan+26.

Flora Montcho

Members of the Sisterhood club playing uno and bonding after school on Wednesday, Jan 26.

Cecilia Conery, Podcast and Online Editor

“It makes the world a better place because we’re all understanding of each other, and actively trying to learn,” junior Flora Montcho explained the social effects her of self-created club, Angela Davis’ Sisterhood club. Montcho and her Vice President junior Aliyah Adedayo both had shared the desire of creating a safe and comforting place within the school for black women. In their meetings, they both had wanted to learn and teach about black history and people of color’s effects on our modern world. Their first meeting was on Jan. 26, at 2:15 p.m. Both Montcho and Adedayo had shared excitement in their first ever turnout.

“People came in of all different races, all different cultures. They came in, introduced themselves, we got to bond and we got to like, teach them a little bit about what our club is about,” Adedayo explained that it was a huge success. 

People from all across the board, within races and cultures, were interested in the club, and had showed up for group bonding and learning. With their advisor, English teacher Claire Henning, the club was made possible. It was believed she had much to offer for both Montcho and Adedayo. They both agreed that Henning is extremely understanding and respectful in all aspects of her teaching skills and within the building.

“Some teachers do not always make students feel welcome,” but Henning is different because “she just sits back and watches and keeps a very open mind,” Montcho explained.

Graphic by Taya Hein

The idea of Henning just showing up to their meetings and relaxing was admirable. Montcho and Adedayo both agreed that having a teacher, especially a white woman that lets the students run the club themselves is respectable. For Montcho, when the idea of the club sparked in her head, she knew she wanted to be respected as the leader, and she did not want an advisor doing too much work for her.

Henning explained why she believes embracing culture, especially for students, is important, “All people have cultures based on what we participate in, although people of power-dominant groups are often socialized to believe they have no ‘culture’. Everyone  expresses their cultures, and we should question why and when that expression is side-eyed and, in contrast, when cultural expression is seen as completely normal, or not even noticed at all because it has been so normalized.” 

Moving forward, Montcho and Adedayo will continue to meet on Wednesdays after school from 2:15-3:15 p.m. Their goal for the club is to continue teaching about black history, while inviting people of all different backgrounds, cultures, races and religions to come in and hang out with them. While they will be focused on different things throughout the remainder of the year, the main goal for the club is to have anyone who would like to have a safe space, with Montcho being known as not just a president, but a “big sister”, or someone anyone can always go to.