New Year, Same S.A.M.E
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More stories from Rachel Clyburn
April 22, 2016
Last year, senior William Pugh and SOA senior Alex Hepburn were moved to found Students Advocating for Multicultural Education, or S.A.M.E., because of last year’s controversy. This group started out as a group with only SOA and Academic Magnet students but over the past year and a half has expanded to 4 branches, including one in South Dakota! The mission of S.A.M.E. is “to help increase diversity and quality education for all students at all schools” while also sparking “meaningful conversations about race and diversity with students.” Student activism is at the heart of S.A.M.E. and both the members and founders believe that it is important for the students’ voices to be heard as we are ultimately the ones that the school and the district are serving.
Through S.A.M.E students have made their voices heard by speaking at CCSD school board meetings, and protesting at various community events, such as after the shooting of Walter Scott. S.A.M.E leaders also hope to host a community wide event where they will discuss diversity with students from various CCSD schools. So far, chapters of S.A.M.E exist at Academic Magnet, SOA, Wando and a high school in South Dakota. S.A.M.E was able to expand to South Dakota through Pugh’s connections from Boy’s Nation, which he attended this past summer.
This year S.A.M.E co-founder William Pugh has set several goals to work towards increasing school diversity. These goals include, expanding S.A.M.E across Charleston County and changing the Academic Magnet school admissions process in order to make it “more equitable and transparent.” Ultimately, Pugh wishes to “improve school climate and culture” through the diversification of Charleston County schools. The members of S.A.M.E believe that diversity is important because being in a diverse setting better prepares students for the real world and is more reflective of settings that they are likely to be in for the rest of their lives. If you would like to join S.A.M.E like our page on Facebook as well as liking the Academic Magnet Chapter of S.A.M.E!