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A Space to Listen to Different Opinions

An Interview with Jubilee Event Coordinator Laila Akberzie

The MSJC Honors Program held its second “Jubilee Event” on Tuesday, February 7th, at the Menifee Valley Campus, inspired by the debate-based YouTube channel “Jubilee.” Organized by Honors Mentor Laila Akberzie, the event aimed to provide a safe space for the participants to share their thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics, as well as honing participants’ social skills and ability to participate in civil discussions.

During the event, a statement such as “stricter gun control laws should be in place” would be said, and the participants would answer either strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. There is no neutral option, forcing participants to think deeply about their position and take a stance. Participants are welcome to opt out of any question that may cause discomfort.

This time, the group was smaller, allowing for much more back-and-forth dialogue between differing views on a topic. This allowed people to explain their views in much more depth than they otherwise would, helping those around them understand their origin. 

In an interview with Laila Akberzie, she describes changes she made from last year’s event.

“There were a lot more intense questions. Last semester, it was half easy and half intense. This time, most of them were intense.”

And they were intense, ranging from questions on capital punishment and abortion. However, throughout the whole event, participants remained respectful of each other’s opinions. 

The Jubilee event was also sponsored by the Honors Program at MSJC, and Laila describes some of the benefits of joining the program.

“There’s so many benefits. Not only is this event one of them, you’re able to participate in different leadership workshops, and meet with the honors mentors. There’s a lot of research opportunities, but for me personally, creating this event has been one of the better benefits.”

When asked about more Jubilee events in the future, Laila seems uncertain.

“Unfortunately, I am transferring this year. If people want it, I would do another one and keep the intensity or not, depending on what they want. For now, I’d say this is the final one unless someone next year decides to host another.”

To conclude, Laila expresses gratitude for all the participants’ time.

“I hope that everyone had a good experience and that they learned from others and their opinions. It wasn’t about debating or convincing; it was about having a comfortable place to have uncomfortable conversations. It was a really great learning experience for me personally, and I hope it was for everyone else as well.”

Although the future of the Jubilee event is uncertain, Laila, who is also president of the ActiveMinds club recommends checking it out for those who want to have more conversations surrounding topics like mental health and spread awareness. The club meets on April 9th on Zoom and May 7th in person at 1:30 pm, and anybody is welcome to participate.

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About the Contributor
Gabriel Lozano
Gabriel Lozano, Writer / Photographer
Hello! My name’s Gabriel Lozano and I’m a freshman here at MSJC. I am a journalism major and love writing in my freetime. I started writing fiction when I was around 6 or 7 and continue to this day. As such, I began to get more interested in writing for an actual audience. I joined my high school newspaper club and that’s where my love for journalism truly began. I mainly write about social issues, pop culture, and occasionally politics/history. I’m excited to be here and get a grasp of the basics of professional journalism practices!
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    Maria LozanoApr 11, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    The Jubilee seems to be an event to help young minds navigate through raft waters, in a safe way. I hope somebody continues offering them. As society, we need to learn to listen, voice opinions and respect other’s views. Difficult topics should not divide friends, families, neighbors, and society. Thank you for covering and reporting on this event.