Pierce Braun ’20
Advocacy around Brophy has taken place in many different ways this year, including walkouts, teach-ins, and speeches on behalf of groups on a local level and even worldwide. Brophy Advocacy Club faculty moderator Mr. William Rutt said that the schools draw a lot of direction from the Catholic church and the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
“Some roots that started around the Advocacy Club is the Dream-On Campaign because students really quickly realized how the ending of DACA would directly affect either them or people in their community,” said Mr. Rutt.
Yael Balbuena Basto ’19 went to D.C. with a group called Aliento in December where he advocated on behalf of Dreamers.
“The reason why it was so impactful to me was because I am a Dreamer myself and I was able to advocate for myself.” said Balbuena Basto ’19.
Balbuena Basto reported that it was slow-going. He said it wasn’t very productive because a lot of the politicians didn’t necessarily accept them and were rude to them.
Balbuena Basto has been in multiple advocacy programs outside of and within Brophy. “I have been a part of the Faces of DACA and actually spoke at the first one.. Many of my friends didn’t even know I was a dreamer and it just really hit home for me.”
The Summit, a yearly focus on a world scale issue was centered around advocacy of victims in the porn industry has stemmed much conversation.
Many students found the Summit to have many positive points, but failed to have a lasting impact.
Balbuena Basto said, “A lot of the presentations were information based but if they wanted it to be more impactful they need to have more real stories than lectures. In a way it was successful, but it could have been better.”
Blaise Schaefer ’18 a supporter of the Summit, believes that it was delivered well but the longevity seems to be in question.
“I think it had critical and really impactful stories that also caused a massive amount of discussion within the school. The discussion was not very controversial and because of that it was a lot more productive and one of the best Summits of my Brophy experience,” Schaefer said.
“The Wall” which was put up under the Freeman Arch hindered students from passing through to get to class.
A controversial subject nationally has also seen pushback from students.
The construction of “The Wall” on Oct. 26 was actually headed by Kino Teens students rather than widespread thought of school administration being behind it.
Schaefer said he believes that it did exactly what it was supposed to do.
“It succeeded because it spurred a lot of conversation,” Schaefer said. “It not only spurred conversation of the issue, but also how advocacy could be done.”
Brophy teachers seemed to believe the wall also did what it was there to do.
Mr. José Leyba, a leader among Kino Teens, was surprised by the backlash of student feedback.
“I was surprised by how there was so much anger, but it is good because once you feel you have to start thinking about what you feel,” Mr. Leyba said. “Why would you be angry if somebody were to put up a wall right in your yard?… Having this right in people’s faces also makes people talk about it on the spot rather than shutting down. It was a shock.”
One of the biggest after-school efforts of activism was the DACA teach-in.
There was a time for reflection of Catholic social teaching on the subject which then was followed by the speakers and their stories.
“Our biggest event was the DACA teach-in, we held this in November and there were six different community organizations, three DACA students that spoke to everyone and the director of Kino Border Initiative, Fr. Sean Caroll who also spoke.” said Mr. Rutt.