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Wisconsin student leaders stand against hate in their communities

Jordon Toso and Corley Jewell
Jordon Toso and Corley Jewell
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Corley Jewell (pictured right) is a student ambassador with We Are Many-United Against Hate at Dodgeville High School. Jordan Toso (pictured left) helps run the Diverse Culture Alliance at Holmen High School.

Students are headed back to school, undoubtedly with a lot on their minds about safety. They may also be weighing the realities of bullying or experiencing violence because of their identities.

Across the state, high school students are forming clubs to combat hate and make sure all students feel welcome and safe at school. Lake Effect’s Mallory Cheng spoke with a couple of Wisconsin students about their efforts.

Corley Jewell is a student ambassador with We Are Many-United Against Hate at Dodgeville High School. Jordan Toso helps run the Diverse Culture Alliance at Holmen High School. The two value starting a dialogue around prejudice and spreading awareness of social issues.

“Two summers ago, I think, we actually got the opportunity to be invited to look over our school district’s bullying policy and our learner goals too,” says Toso. “So we’re really trying to change the policies and administration has just been like… ‘Yeah, we’ll listen to you what would you like?’”

The students of Holmen High School hope their advocacy does not stop at student guidance but goes further to help teachers respond to these conversations and strengthen their stances against bullying.

“We are going to bring in a speaker to talk to our teachers and I think that’s where we have really looked at our efforts to be as we need to educate the teachers. And then hopefully, that will trickle down to educating students,” says Toso.

Other efforts include members of We are Many-United Against Hate at Dodgeville High School going to their elementary school to read books on inclusivity to younger students.

“The big thing is just knowing those small towns like Dodgeville, and I know Deerfield and Baraboo have clubs like these, and that the change starts in small areas like that, and it can grow to be huge,” says Jewell.

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Mallory Cheng joined WUWM as a producer for Lake Effect in 2021.
Cait Flynn joined WUWM in June 2022 as an assistant producer for Lake Effect.
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