As a part of Bay Area United Against Hate Week, a poetry showcase with appearances by students from schools across Castro Valley was held at Smalltown Society.
At this event, students from preschool to CVHS teachers were able to share their own pieces of writing and art in order to take a stand against hate within Castro Valley. The event was led by CVHS seniors Vann Jones and Emerald Adeyan and junior Rucha Acholkar.
“I saw a poster that said ‘Oakland United Against Hate,’ and I knew that was what we had to do,” said Michael Kuziak, another person involved with both the Bay Area United Against Hate organization as well as this event.
The poetry showcase took place on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and mostly involved Castro Valley students and teachers presenting their original poetry or singing.
Although Bay Area United Against Hate existed before this event, its organizers had more specific goals in mind to spread the message of this organization.
“Our goal in this is to unite our community in ways we haven’t been able to before,” said Acholkar. “Everyone is enjoying each other’s talents, and we’re all celebrating one common thing, which is equality and to improve inclusivity in our community.”
Jones shared this same enthusiasm for the event. “I think it’s really important that we have spaces like this, especially since we as students were pretty much allowed to run this entire event,” he said.
The venue was full of people from the Castro Valley community, including CVHS English teachers and students.
In addition to this event, a march was also planned to take place on Nov. 15 but was canceled due to poor weather conditions. It was announced that it will be rescheduled as a result, but the poetry showcase was still able to take place.
“It’s great to have places like this to inspire us,” Adeyan said. “Having such a small space has brought more attention to community events like this one.”