Q: Would you explain what NPHC is and what it’s all about for those who don’t recognize the acronym?
Guadalupe: The No Place for Hate Coalition on College Prep's campus is an organization founded by students and made for students. We work within our own community, but also with other schools to eradicate hatred, bullying, and bias from their campuses. We do so by adopting different methods of teaching, activities, reflections, and conversations. Ultimately our goal is to create dialogue between young people across all ages, so that we can become better allies and social changers.
Q: Both of you are graduating seniors this year. How long have you been part of NPHC, and what made you decide to take on a leadership role?
Hannah: I had a really positive experience with NPHC in my freshman and sophomore years. I personally knew for a while that I had hoped to be a leader because I really enjoyed facilitating the activities. I became a leader junior year and just jumped in.
Guadalupe: I started getting involved back in freshman year during Intraterm when we were first trained. We’ve been part of the group from that point on and I became a leader my senior year.
Q: What kind of work does NPHC do for the College Prep community?
Hannah: We aim to provide two training sessions per year, a summer one and then a winter one. The summer training is organized and led by students. Students decide the schedule and put together all the facilitators for each day. These trainings have been super meaningful and it seemed like people got something out of them. Then in the winter the training is usually led by Jeremiah Jackson, Director of Equity and Inclusion and another facilitator from the ADL. We also host discussions about equity issues and facilitate ADL anti-bias activities for the College Prep community.
Q: NPHC does a lot of work with Ally Days at other schools. What are those like?
Guadalupe: Just recently, we went to Sonoma Academy and we were helping the student leaders in charge of their student council and their social justice-affiliated work. They were interested in starting their own NPHC program at their school and wanted our guidance and advice. Sonoma Academy was our first high school that we worked with. Ordinarily we work with middle schools, but the activities are all similar depending on the campus. We hold grade-wide discussions about bias, bullying, and privilege.
Q: After being part of NPHC for four years, of what are you most proud?
Hannah: I think that NPHC has been a big part of my personal growth. So I'm proud of that. It’s helped me gain a lot of confidence, both through facilitating activities and being in the front of the room, and also through stepping into a leadership role, and being able to support other facilitators. I think that Ally Days have been the most meaningful to me; even though I really enjoy the trainings, the Ally Days stand out.
Guadalupe: I think I have to agree with Hannah in terms of NPHC aiding my self-growth process, especially as a student, but also as an activist. I think the special thing about NPHC is that it allows you to learn the language, to really talk to people about hatred, bias, racism, and any sort of discrimination. It also challenges you to look at it from multiple perspectives. I think NPHC has pushed me to be more courageous in the way that I view the world and more open to challenges.
Q: Do you think you'll both continue to seek out social justice work in college?
Hannah: In the future, I will definitely use the ADL language for talking about bias and the tools I’ve learned for leading activities. I definitely plan to continue to be involved in activism. One specific thing I’m interested in is the criminal justice system. I’d like to first to better understand the prison system and how it came to be, and then work to make conditions better, and also slowly dismantle that system.
Guadalupe: For me, I think that the language that NPHC gives us is really helpful in everyday use, and frankly, in the classroom. I'm really hoping that I can adopt the educational element of NPHC and create little groups to educate younger folks about what I learned in my four years and pass that knowledge down. So that's how I aspire to continue this work.
Q: How do you think College Prep could expand or improve the NPHC program on campus?
Hannah: The biggest thing for me is partnering more with other affinity groups. We unfortunately did not do that this year, since there was a lot going on. We did have some good discussions with BSU (Black Student Union) and NPHC over last summer, and the year before we had a couple of partnerships with SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) and GSA (Gender and Sexuality Awareness). So I hope that the new leaders—who are awesome and I'm super excited that they are the main leaders—I hope that they partner more with affinity groups. That will help to delve deeper beyond what NPHC traditionally does, and I think it'll help bring awareness of NPHC to campus because otherwise it can be pretty insular.
Guadalupe: It's also critical that we expand beyond College Prep. I think working more within the Oakland community is really important to make a name for ourselves. Also working with other schools that are No Place for Hate certified is super critical. San Francisco University High School supports the Riot Conference, which is for women of color who attend private institutions. I'd love to see NPHC have a conference of that type and have that level where students with a passion for social justice have a day to just come together, talk about the issues that are affecting them, and how we can improve as leaders.