Ready to R.I.S.E.

The student-led R.I.S.E. club combats racism and other equity issues at CHS.


Members of the R.I.S.E. club congregated in the upper forum room after school on Wednesday, October 6 to discuss and support equality.

Jenna Waggoner, Editor in Chief

R.I.S.E. is a galvanizing call-to-action: Reform Injustice, Secure Equality. The R.I.S.E. club, which promotes equal opportunity and treatment regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, was created last year by students of color who hoped to provide a safe space for other minorities at the school. R.I.S.E. members typically meet every other Wednesday in the upper forum room, after school until 4 pm, to discuss personal struggles, ways to improve the school community, and raise awareness to significant cultural events. 

Tristie Nguyen, a senior and one of the R.I.S.E. leaders this year, shared that at one such meeting, “There was a girl sharing a story where someone was racist to her and she began to tear up. The other people in the group did not personally understand what she was going through but they had just learned at that moment the impact of racism on students at Caledonia. I felt like people were understanding and being open and that’s the whole goal of our club.” 

Kanika Verma, a junior and another R.I.S.E. leader, explained that, “Being a person of color, I felt as if I had a right to get involved. Bullying and discrimination based off who I was was something that me and others have to go through. Being an activist for this problem is a large step in helping. If you have gone through feeling inequality, then this club is open for you. If you have not but have seen it and want to support, then this club is open to you. I hope students will know that their community has a safe space for everyone to be involved in.”

Recent events and projects that R.I.S.E. members have undertaken this month include creating posters to hang in the hallways for National Native American Heritage Month and presenting an impactful video clip through the student news where experiences with racism at the school were shared. They hope to continue spreading diverse perspectives and make positive contributions to the social education and overall culture of CHS.

Kathleen Soliz, a junior and the last of the three co-leaders, shared their parting thoughts on the fate of the club: “I hope R.I.S.E. will really open people’s eyes to the issues at Caledonia and make the future here safer and more inclusive.”

Interested in finding other clubs that promote equality at CHS? Read this article on Cal NOW CAN, a feminism club created this year.