ADL chapter starts an important ‘conversation’


2015-09-18 14.54.30 (2) Jaedyn Ellis, far left, and others listen during lunch to the “Conversation Central” on police brutality on Sept. 18 (Photo courtesy of Jacqui Wilson)

By KENZIE MUENZER, Gazebo Staff Writer

Stratford’s Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has started a new monthly gathering for all students called Conversation Central.

The ADL is a program committed to making everyone at Stratford happy and comfortable in their school surroundings.

“We want to make Stratford a better place for all people who go here.” said ADL sponsor Jacqui Wilson, Stratford’s upper school guidance counselor. “We want to make people feel safe. We want to make people feel comfortable and know that this is a good place for them.”

Senior Jaedyn Ellis, the chair of Conversation Central, said she first joined Statford’s ADL to help make it a better place.

“We started ADL my sophomore year and it started as a group of us traveling to Atlanta to speak with other kids around the state about different issues that they were experiencing in their schools,” Ellis said. “Some schools, especially in Atlanta, were dealing with hate crimes and there was a big separation between honor students and non-honor students.  We decided to start ADL as a group that is dedicated to making Stratford a better place for all groups of people.”

Ellis selected police brutality for the first program.

“I chose to start with police brutality because I thought it was an inflammatory topic that has to do with current events,” said Ellis. “For the first topic we wanted a large amount of people out there which we did a pretty good job with.”

Recently, the school’s ADL chapter invited four guest speakers come to answer Stratford’s pressing questions. The three officers that attended were Officers Chris Harrell, Santel Smith, and Jr. Lt. Christopher Dunn. They also had Che Young, an Assistant Solicitor-General of Bibb County.

Plans for upcoming programs are still under consideration, but ADL members hope to hold at least one more “conversation” on the subject of police brutality.