MLK DAY 2020 WORKSHOPS

MLK DAY WORKSHOPS 2020

All students participated in workshops that asked them to dig deep and think critically about what justice looks and feels like in 2020. The workshops were designed to help them reflect on their roles as community members, allies and change agents through interactive activities and discussions with their peers.


Junior Program

Beyond the Surface: Things You Don’t Learn in Class

Juniors viewed a series of vignettes and monologues written and performed by the Theater 910: Identity class. Cast List: Joshua Fry, Case Rosenfelt, Mary Muromcew, Layo Oloritun ’20, Ioanna Niños ’21, Kiran Ramratnam ’22, Nicole Jo, Nnenna Okorie ’22, Ariana Phillips ’21, Niya Harris ’21, Emiliano Caceres ’22, Han Chin Toh ’22, Jada Li, Denise Taveras ’21 Directors: Layomi Olutarin’20 and Ionna Ninos ’20; Faculty: Allen Grimm & Linda Carter-Griffith


Lower Program

Just Me: Exploring Injustice and Identity

Lowers participated in a series of activities meant to help them practice interrogating their identity and make connections, individually and collectively, to the theme of injustice.


Upper/Senior/PG Program

All Uppers, Seniors, and PGs attended workshops facilitated by their peers. All facilitators submitted proposals to the CaMD team, articulating how their workshop connected to the local and global discourses on justice, as well as what takeaways and practical tools they hoped participants would gain through their workshop. Workshop descriptions below!


Barbara Landis Chase CaMD Scholar: Aissata Bah ’20

Disempowered in Black Power? Rethinking Black Women’s Contributions to Activist Movements

MLK day concluded with a CaMD Scholar presentation by Aissta Bah ’20. Her research was a perfect complement to Ms. Giovanni’s morning keynote and stands on its own as an example of the intellectual pursuits of high scholastic aptitude that our students undertake.


WORKSHOP TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS


LGBT+ Slurs: Their History and Cultural Context

Our workshop will teach and discuss the historical context and current cultural usage of LGBTQ+ specific slurs. There will be an opportunity to share personal opinions and experiences regarding the issue and freely interact with your peers. Bea Hruska ‘20, Maya Shkolnik ‘21, Karin Ulanovsky ‘20, Faculty Advisor: M. Martin, Dr. Farnsworth

Jewish People in the Civil Rights Movement

In this workshop, the JSU hopes to combat detrimental myths and stereotypes about Jewish people common on our campus while informing students of Jewish cultural traditions. In recognition of MLK day, we will discuss the role that Jewish people played in the civil rights movement and the coalition built amongst various constituencies. Ethan Ellsweig ‘21, Sophie Glaser ‘22, Sima Shmuylovich ‘21, Bryce Shufro ‘22, Karin Ulanovsky ‘20, Faculty Advisor: Rabbi Swartz

Colonizing the Mind: Disrupting Recolonization in the Classroom

What does it mean to decolonize the classroom? Though subtle, there is a race-avoidant tendency in the Andover classroom that closes off conversation about colonization in the Americas.This workshop will challenge students to take charge of creating classroom cultures that prioritize discussions of colonization, and prevent students who inherited that trauma from bearing the burden of said discussions. Come prepared to reflect and/or discuss your experiences in the classroom, whether as a perpetrator or victim of classroom colonization.   Ashley Alvarez ‘20, Bryan Jimenez ‘21, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Juan Gabriel Sanchez

Stronger Together: A History of Coalition Building in the 20th Century

Race is constructed differently for every different racial minority. Black Americans, Asian Americans and Latinx Americans face different forms of discrimination, but they can both be victim to the same oppressive tools including witholding political agency, prejudice and criminalization in media representation, and silencing of histories. Through examining a history of Asian-Black alliances and conflicts, this workshop aspires to differentiate forms of discrimination against different minorities and encourage coalitions between them. Adaeze Izuegbunam ‘20, Skylar Xu ‘20, Faculty Advisor: M. Martin

Unable to Overcome Ableism: The Role of Education Institutions in Ableist Systems

Through interactive activities and an informational presentation, this workshop will explore our internalized ableism: a system that is perpetuated by the curated exclusivity of higher education. This workshop critiques the attitudes, habits, and policies that reinforce the oppression of people with all types of disabilities and are used to justify the oppression of other disenfranchised groups. Chi Igbokwe ’21, Kaitlin Kim ’20, Karen Sun’20, Hannah Agwunobi ‘21, Ethan Chan ‘21, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Esty

Stop ACTING Like I’m Not Here

In this workshop, we will analyze the lack of representation and misrepresentation of Latinx people and cultures in the film and theater industry. We will talk about how this pervasive problem puts a burden on many artists who want to share the stories of their people but know it is difficult to do so when there aren’t many others who understand. We will also discuss the absence of Latinx people in the academy awards (as nominees and recipients) for film and theatre and how their representation is often constructed for the amusement of audiences rather than the actual complexities and experiences of Latinx people. The deeply ingrained stereotypes of Latinx people have resulted in a failure to properly represent them in theatre and film. Sofia Poncel ‘21 and Denise Taveras’21, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Villanueva 

Storytelling and the Body: How Communities of Color Heal

This workshop explores holistic healing in different communities of color and the bridge between storytelling and the physical body. Many communities rely on storytelling as a means of healing from trauma, as shown by Black South Africans after apartheid, and First Nations, Black, and Latinx peoples in the United States. Examining the body as a part of people of color’s storytelling and trauma, and the role it plays within their stories, is crucial to the continued healing of minority groups. Sofía Garcia ’21, Faculty Advisor:Ms. Driscoll

Sing Out: discovering spirituals and gospel music, and how to do them justice. 

Black music is always popular–spirituals and gospel especially during Black History Month and around MLK day. Both are genres with deep roots in and of great significance to the African American community, originating as oral traditions meant to communicate the hardships of slavery and the faith and resilience of those who edured though it. To communicate those stories and the accompanying emotions, both require certain vocal techniques that must be learnt. I’ll take my attendees through what it takes to sound authentic in spirituals, and to sing gospel healthily. All I ask of whomever comes is that they have the courage and the willingness to try and sing new things.  James Dargan, visiting artist, performer, writer, athlete, and composer

Embracing our Sexual Selves; Saying YES to Consensual Pleasure: Demystifying the Intersections of Sexual Health, Porn/Media Literacy, and Consent

We talk about consent frequently, and all PA students have signed a consent form at the beginning of the year. But are you comfortable navigating in-the-moment conversations about consent? How would you rate your own understanding of this complicated and crucial topic? When does what may look like consent become sexual assault? Do you know how to say no and how to hear no?  In this workshop, members of the Brace Center advisory board and of YES+ (Youth Educators for Sex Positivity) will partner to take you through a series of exercises on distinguishing between behavior and language that value and devalue consent, starting with an analysis of our culture’s deeply influential teachings about our bodies and ourselves as sexual beings. You will acquire an understanding of the role of porn and the power of the media to shape our ideas about sex and sexuality, and you will develop adequate language, tools, and frameworks to help in decision-making, both online and offline. Abigail Scharf ‘21, Karin Ulanovsky ’20, Claudine Waggoner ‘20, Amy Chew ‘20, Warren Clark ‘21, Bianca Rodriguez Pagano ‘21, Faculty Advisor, Dr. Flavia Vidal 

Am I Biased? How Implicit Means Complicit

This workshop explores implicit bias, how it affects society, and how to address these hidden biases on an individual and systemic level. Aside from conducting a group Implicit Association Test (IAT), there will be a discussion on how we are affected by implicit bias as both targets and perpetrators, and how implicit bias can manifest in educational institutions such as Andover. This workshop is brought to Andover in collaboration with Unleashed Workshops, a non-profit organization focused on providing implicit bias training to middle school and high school students. (Here’s a link for those interested: https://unleashedworkshops.org/) Lindsey Chan ‘20, Faculty Advisor: Ms. Murata

From Lone Ranger to Elizabeth Warren: Indigenous Misrepresentations and Settler Colonialism 

You may be familiar with the rhyme about when Columbus “discovered” America or perhaps you were a pilgrim in your school’s “First Thanksgiving” play, or maybe you even played “Cowboys and Indians” as a kid. Native “representations” seem to be everywhere, but what is the real story and impact behind each of these narratives? What even is settler colonialism and how does it play a part in each of these examples? This workshop will dive into our settler society, the impacts of these over abundant false representations, and current Indigenous issues from #NODAPL to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. You will learn how to disrupt false narratives, combat settler society, and be an ally to Indigenous peoples. Emma Slibeck ‘20, Ms. Driscoll

A Look Within: An Exploration of Our Core Identities

In this workshop, attendees will explore their personal identity and background through collaborative activities and written reflections. Students will leave with a fuller awareness of their identity and how it informs their experiences at Andover and beyond. Activities include identifying core cultural identifiers, drawing identity molecules, interacting through different scenarios, and writing personal reflections. Angelina Collado ‘21, Niara Urquhart ‘21, Alex Ashman ‘21,  Isa Escobar ‘21, Kat Wang ‘21, Melani Garcia ’21, Faculty Advisor: Ms. Springer   

The Prison Effect: The Cycle of Mass Incarceration and Poverty

In this workshop, we will trace mass incarceration’s pervasive effects on low income and minority communities in the US. As a group, we will investigate real-life scenarios and engage different multimedia to gain a deeper understanding of the link between race, class and the prison system. We will examine the cyclical nature of incarceration, and the everlasting effects on communities and individuals living in affected communities. Megan Vaz’ 20, Maya Shkolnik ‘21, Hannah Agwunobi ‘20, LouLou Sloss ‘22, Faculty Advisor: Dr.Kane

Deconstructing Rape Myths

TW: Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Gender-Based Violence She asked for it. It wasn’t really rape. He didn’t mean to. She wanted it. She lied. Rape is a trivial event. Rape is a deviant event. In the paper Aggression and Violent Behavior, Amy Grubb and Emily Turner explain: “rape myths vary among societies and cultures. However, they consistently follow a pattern whereby, they blame the victim for their rape, express a disbelief in claims of rape, exonerate the perpetrator, and allude that only certain types of women are raped.” Scholars Diana Payne, Kimberly Lonsway, and Louise Fitzgerald break this down even further, identifying seven key narratives that define rape myths. In this workshop we will examine where these myths infiltrate everything from television to daily interactions to be weaponized against survivors. You will acquire a deeper understanding of how deeply these myths permeate our lives and be able to identify and counter these false and harmful narratives. Emma Slibeck ‘20, Posie Millet ‘20, Margot Hutchins’20, Faculty Advisor: Ms. Joel & Ms. Engel

Culture & Bridge Building: Who Brings What to the Table?

When did you first become aware of your culture? What can we do to breach cultural barriers at Andover? This workshop will help initiate conversations where participants will have to critically think about how they interact with different cultures and develop tools to examine intercultural dynamics. To begin, participants will engage in a cultural spectrum walk that will allow for personal reflection on one’s own culture. After, the group will learn about the Milton Bennett Model of Cultural Competency (introducing the spectrum of Ethnocentrism and Ethnorelativism) and various ideologies that surround the concept of cultural competency. To end, a handful of discussion questions will be presented in order to help accustom participants with discomfort and its importance in intercultural bridge-building. Piper Drew ‘20, Hywot Ayana ‘20, Derrick Brown’20, Peike Wu’22, Faculty Advisor: Ms. Hollis

Transgender Health on an Elite Academic Campus: How we fail to recognize identities among our peers

In this workshop, Lavender will be discussing the experiences of trans students in educational settings, and more specifically at Phillips Academy, to encourage non-LGBTQ2IAA++ students to be active allies on our campus. Creating a sense of belonging and feeling included are paramount to the health and well-being of all students but especially to those who are trans and non-binary. Generational change surrounding the queer community has substantially altered our gendered world, including our constructions and understanding of gender, including language. It is crucial that we fully understand who our peers are so that they can feel safe and affirmed in our community and so that we can all fully benefit from the spectrum of identities and backgrounds on our campus.  Amelia Meyer ‘21, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Erdmann, Dr. Patel

Economic Justice 101 

With an understanding of economic injustice, how do we imagine and create economic justice? Unpack classism as a system of oppression and its impacts on ourselves, our peers and our nation. This experiential and interactive workshop (no lectures!) will explore economic justice on a systemic and personal level. This popular education-style workshop uses an intersectional lens to consider similar roles played by white supremacy, sexism and cis-sexism. Together, we will consider Martin Luther King Jr.’s understanding of the triple evils: racism, poverty and militarism and connect them to today’s work for justice. This workshop will also reflect on the power of youth resistance movements and community organizing as a method of creating social change.  Mariko Dodson, Director of Programs and Strategy, Boston Mobilization

Climate Change and Environmental Justice: A Social Issue

In this workshop, we will explore how the historic oppression of underprivileged groups in the United States and globally has been perpetuated by climate change and environmental injustice. We will approach this interdisciplinary challenge through discussion of local environmental injustices, broader injustices associated with climate change and its consequences, and stories from targeted populations. Looking at direct environmental examples such as fossil fuel extraction, mining, oil pipelines, and deforestation on a local level and the systemic impact of extreme weather events, air pollution, and sea level rise, we will discuss the disproportionate effects of these injustices on marginalized groups and the resulting detriment to all people. Eli Newell’20, Claire Brady’20, Anay Mehta’20, Colin McNamara-Bordewick ’21, Faculty Advisor: Ms. Guerette, Mr. Barker, Mr. Curtis

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