Club Spotlight: LHS Chat


LHS Chat club prepares for an active discussion on race, racism, and racial justice. Photo by Sujin Lee

Medha Jayendran and Jessica Liu

Following the social unrest after the murder of George Floyd and pandemic-fueled racism directed towards Asian-Americans, the Lexington community saw a greater need for discussions centered around racial inequality. 

In order to hold discussions on the significance of race and its impact on peoples’ daily lives, LexChat was founded by community members. Soon after, a group of Lexington High School students and faculty started LHS Chat, a LHS club that meets monthly after school. 

LHS Chat shares a common goal with its sister organization LexChat: hosting open discussions on the influence of race in society and the presence of racism in the Lexington community. In October, they arranged a series of I-Blocks that facilitated conversations about anti-Asian sentiment and the Asian American experience, as explored through Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown. They hope to host similar events in the future.

For students in LHS Chat, there are three ‘teams’ of students that contribute to meetings. The first team, the curriculum development team, decides the content of the discussion. The second team trains people to facilitate discussions. The third team promotes events and manages logistics. Students interested in participating can view updates about events and meetings on the club’s social media platforms.

Several important factors determine each meeting’s topic, but the first meeting always seeks to define race, racism, and historical concepts. At later meetings, discussions may revolve around more complex topics. 

“If there’s some current event that happens, and we feel that the school community wants a place to talk about it, this is something we want to be receptive to as well,” Samantha St. Lawrence, an English teacher serving as a club advisor, said. 

The conversations LHS Chat fosters are important to the school community because they raise awareness of the ongoing race-related issues in society. 

“The absence of particular perspectives, particular histories, has had an impact in the way that we see who belongs in spaces and who does not,” St. Lawrence said.

Past remote conversations were difficult for people who felt uncomfortable speaking over Zoom. However, conversations have become more collaborative after LHS Chat transitioned to being in person. 

“I think that we’ve had much more comfortable conversations. It’s been a lot less stiff. We’ve had a lot more flow,” Alice Van Evera, a senior and one of the student leaders of LHS Chat, said. 

Moving LHS Chat to an in-person club might encourage more people to join discussions.

“Anybody, no matter if you want to have part in facilitating or planning, you can sign up to come to a session if you’re an LHS student or staff member,” Van Evera said.