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  • Jessica Cortes

Community-building Clubs at CVCHS

Major multicultural clubs, including a Black Student Union (BSU), an Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Club, and a contemporary La Raza Club, have recently broken through on the predominantly white CVCHS campus.

The club presidents seek to create safe spaces and cultural connections for minority students.

“I was thrown off by Clayton Valley’s small cultural presence and I knew there had to be a change,” said Fernando Perez, the president of La Raza Club.

The roots of La Raza Club are in the former CVCHS Latino Club. “La Raza” as a social concept has historic ties to the Chicano movement of the 1970s, though Perez may understate the club’s rebranding as a “more unique name.” He was “taught to never forget” his cultural background and restructured the club to include four committees—activities, fundraisers, monthly meetings, and publicity—on behalf of an authentic, engaging organization.

Jimena Jimenez, a member of La Raza Club, expressed enthusiasm for how it “brings my culture and community to the school and allows me to meet people with similar backgrounds.”

Cody Valenzuela founded the AAPI Club with similar goals in mind. A dedicated space for all AAPI students to connect was absent until Valenzuela created the club this school year. Previous institutions, like the Filipino Club and the CVCHS chapter of Dear Asian Youth, were not renewed for this school year. Cassandra Nostratis, a member of AAPI Club, described it as “an opportunity for all of the Asian community to come together.”

Valenzuela now hopes that “members will build lasting friendships and have fun that exists outside of AAPI,” with the club as a constant resource.

Chioma Chukwuka, the president of the Black Student Union, renewed the club last school year to assure such continuity. Chukwuka wants to ensure that Black students at CVCHS “shoot for the stars” regardless of their relatively small student population. She is currently working with other BSUs in the region to hold “a united activity and bring additional participation.”

On campus, Chukwuka has curated the BSU as “a safe place for Black students to feel heard,” host casual hangouts, and enjoy cultural foods.

Chukwuka, Valenzuela, and Perez are jointly developing plans for a feature in the Spring Multicultural Rally.

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