Seven Elements holds thoughtful, moving Story Slam in time of uncertainty


Georgie Badiel speaks to audience members about her life and Foundation. The Georgie Badiel Foundation provides clean water and sanitation to Burkina Faso and neighboring countries, in turn relieving the stress of retrieving water off women and children.

by Chloe Siohan, Chief Copy Editor

The coronavirus pandemic did not prevent the Seven Elements Social Justice Club from hosting their third annual Moth Story Slam, which they held digitally last week.

The event was hosted by Seven Elements Co-Vice President Isis Kirkland via Zoom on May 28, where students and teachers told personal stories on a variety of topics to raise money for the Georgie Badiel Foundation. The Foundation aims to provide the people of Burkina Faso with clean water sources. 

Georgie Badiel, the founder and CEO of the organization, also attended the event and briefly spoke at the beginning. Badiel, who hails from Burkina Faso, spoke of how she had to walk hours to gather water for her family as a young girl, and how this experience inspired her to start the Georgie Badiel Foundation. Badiel also discussed the accomplishments of the Foundation since its creation in 2015.

“In these few years, we have provided clean drinking water to over 270,000 people in Burkina Faso,” she said. 

She also discussed the challenges of running the organization and noted that she believes the Foundation can provide clean water to the entire country of Burkina Faso in five years. The organization is still accepting donations through GoFundMe in partnership with Seven Elements. 

Before handing the microphone over to storytellers, Badiel said, “I would like to thank you so much for caring and for also sharing what you have to provide clean drinking water to Burkina Faso.”

Seven Elements Co-Presidents Asha Shetler and Simran Kaur Saberwal were among a few of the storytellers that afternoon. 

Shetler’s story, entitled “Halves,” explored her feelings towards her Asian heritage and described her experience growing up as a half-white half-Indian female in the predominantly white New Jersey suburbs.

Her thoughtful and personal story ended with this sentiment: “Though I can’t say there’s never moments where I feel ostracized, and my life is now perfect, I can at least say that I now embrace both halves of me. I can at least say that I am whole. Because I am half-Indian, half-white, and fully me.”

On her story, she said, “I hope people get that there’s more to people than you may think at first and that everyone should make an effort to treat others with kindness and equality.”

Although she was nervous to read her story, she felt her nerves dissipate when she started to read and felt the Slam ran smoothly as a whole. 

Other storytellers included Mr. Brian Weinberg, Kavi Singh (12), Dylaney Sabino (12), Abby Stern (12), Jenna Ross (11), Mallika Sinha (11), Yejin Suh (11), Emma Vicinanza (11), and Meg Whyte (11). For many, this will be their final Story Slam, including Shetler’s. 

“I loved being a part of it and I’m definitely going to miss it,” she said. 

On the event as a whole, she hopes viewers took away a similar sentiment as they did with her story: “The knowledge that there’s always more underneath the surface, and you shouldn’t judge others without getting to know them.”