Women Inspiring Strength And Empowerment

The first thing you will notice about the meeting room is the amount of passion. Each council member of the WISE (Women Inspiring Strength & Empowerment) organization has such a genuine passion about changing our community, it’s inspiring. The second thing you will notice is the fact that the club doesn’t only consist of women. “[Feminism] is about men and women being equal,” says Rylan Reed, Senior, Public Relations Officer.. 

The club originated 4 years ago with Ms.Catten, the current club advisor. “I felt like there needed to be an avenue, there needed to be a space that advocated for them, a safe space-to talk about some issues that are more specific to women,” Catten said,  Catten formed the club in order to invoke change within the Copper Hills community amongst staff and students. “This club was about being a safe space, being a place where we connect with each other. Being a space where we have advocates, both male and female advocates, and talking about some of those very specific issues for women. Anywhere from discrimination but also things like (wage gap and domestic violence and abuse), Catten said. 

Today, the club encourages change by actively contributing to the community with things such as clothing drives and petitions. A current petition, for example, concerns the division of genders on the day of graduation. Gender division can cause discomfort with people that identify as transgender or nonbinary. Likewise a lot of students simply want to be with their friends for graduation. Placing students with their gender only can limit their overall experience. 

Getting rid of gender roles is a large aspect of the club’s mission. Realizing that women can change tires and men can cook is an important thing for our community to realize. “[It’s about] starting to get that idea into young minds [that] anyone can do these things and they don’t need to be these traditional gender roles that we play,” Catten says.

Though the club inspires serious change, it still stands as a fun experience. Everyone in the club is a learner. “I’m here to learn from you as well,” says Anyda Chanthamixay, Senior, President. “I feel like this club gives me an opportunity to not be a teacher, [but] to be a learner with everyone else,” says Catten. 

The club holds monthly socials with the goal of educating the community and bringing people together via fun activities. From learning how to change a tire to mindfulness meditation, there’s always a fun opportunity to connect. There’s a 15-dollar entrance fee and you can join anytime throughout the year, everyone is welcome. There will be a WISE club as long as theres a passion for a feminist change. Judging by the students and advisor representing the club, there will be no shortage anytime soon.