South Pasadena High School’s Speech and Debate team is organizing a program, known as Know Your Rights, as a community program for participants to understand the importance of voting rights. “Our purpose is for participants to have a deeper understanding of relevant issues — as pertaining to the city, state, or national level — either once they are eligible to vote or at the polling booth” explains co-founder Nicole Lu.
Know Your Rights is tailored as a resource for the community to take advantage of in the wake of the upcoming presidential election. Lu goes on to explain, “We believe it is essential for every able individual to recognize their role in society by fulfilling their civic duties and engaging with current events.” People of any age, background, or experience can participate. Guest speakers will include the current Chief of Staff of the CA State Senate and a former CA State Assemblymember.
This project began when Lu, along with fellow SPHS senior, Haelee Kim, started developing it at the beginning of this year in order to further their knowledge and strong passions for politics and government. Lu explains, “this initiative was originally fueled by our inability to participate in programs like the YMCA’s Youth and Government program due to its high tuition. So, we decided to create our own free and civic-minded program to share this passion with others.”
Know Your Rights eventually became a joint initiative with the Speech and Debate team at SPHS. Lu and Kim now spearhead a team of five including seniors, Thea McCallie and Clara Ceerla, junior Remy Julian-Lorenz, and sophomore Sam Grotenstein. “In addition to educating the community on voting rights, we genuinely aim to have Know Your Rights promote civic engagement across all ages and demographics, regardless of whether it had been an election year or not,” says Lu, “and this program is also not limited to just South Pas! We would welcome and encourage people from anywhere to come join a session.”
Follow link to register here