MLK Day 2021 Workshops

Workshops

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

Unmute and Video On, Please!?

All 9th-grade students gathered virtually in pre-assigned sessions to discuss The Identity Play’s key themes and reflect on
how our individual identities and daily experiences intersect through writing and discussion. Written and directed by students in THD910, The Identity Play is a culmination of a term meant to
provide insight into how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and faith affect daily existence


Lower Program

Just Me: Exploring Injustice and Identity

With Ibram Kendi’s work How to Be an Antiracist as a reference, all 10th-grade students will work in small groups led by faculty members to analyze a social justice-themed case study. Through journaling and discussion, students will identify and describe the ways in which racism functions and manifests in our institutions. To that end, students will examine the role these same institutions play in producing, sustaining, or abolishing racial inequities in housing, the social justice system, and access to the polls


Upper/Senior/PG Program

Using Charlene Carruthers’ organizing principles and framework from her work with BYP100, students will participate in workshops that grapple with the questions she believes all those working toward justice should be able to answer: Who Am I? Who are my People? What Do We Want? What Are We Building? Are We Ready to Win? Students who were part of Liberation Collective this summer and who participated in the Social Justice Leadership Institute this fall have found this framing especially helpful as they try to build sustainable and radical movements within our community. Traditionally, these workshops have been led by our young people but in recognition of feedback we’ve received from students in years past that rightfully point out that the labor of MLK Day largely falls on Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ students and the immense labor our students have already taken on in response to this past summer and fall to organize our Community/Justice/Joy Orientation and more, we have instead invited outside scholars, activists, teachers, and youth organizers to lead these workshops.

Workshop descriptions below!


Barbara Landis Chase CaMD Scholar: Mary Muromcew ’22

Sticky Belonging: Hegemonic Gazes and the Taming of Queer Asian American Identities


WORKSHOP TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS


Who Am I?

Black Affinity Space: Who Am I? Storytellin’

Seeking a safe space to talk out your racial experiences in school, in the world as a Black person? That’s Black affinity. We’re here to facilitate an empowering and healing space for Black folk and to center our story as marginalized people. If you’ve struggled with non-Black classmates, teachers, anti-Black nonsense, and even each other, this is the space for you to explore those feelings. We’ll also be cultivating Black joy through our time together. Let’s take time to learn, be real, and connect with each other. 

Thia Simon &  Betiel Brhane, SJLI Co-Facilitators

Storytelling

One of the most fundamental ways humans can foster connection amongst each other is by sharing stories. We relate to one another by gaining insight about the experiences that have shaped us, rather than numbers and statistics, and these relationships transform us and the work we do. Furthermore, storytelling can function as a means to nurture personal healing, as it allows for reflection and processing. In organizing on any level, these sorts of processes are crucial. 
In this workshop, we will explore the art of storytelling, especially as it relates to popular education and the pursuit of liberation. We will reflect on personal stories, and gain comfort in sharing our experiences within communities, whether in small or large group settings through practice.  

Cheyenne Porcher, SJLI Facilitator

White Accompliceship in Action

This workshop, open to white folks of all experiences in anti-racism work, explores how white accomplices can take the work of anti-racist education and put it into action. Overall, we will explore the questions “Who am I?” and “What are we building?” by asking specific questions like: What does it mean to be a white person working towards anti-racism? When and how do I make space, take space, or share space? How do I spend my privilege effectively? How do I get started? Participants will engage in discussion, journaling, brainstorming, and research that will give them the tools they need to work towards actively dismantling racism. This workshop will culminate in making action plans and figuring out concrete ways to put anti-racist knowledge into action. 

Sophie Glaser ‘22, Avivit Ashman ‘22, Ozero Scholnick ‘23, Emilia Sanz-Rios ‘22, Lorelei McCampbell ‘22

Growing Pains: Becoming Men in a Patriarchal World 
This workshop is open to all students who identify as boys or men.  

When did you first know that you were a boy? What is patriarchy and where did it come from? How can boys and men show love to others, and to ourselves? We’ll explore these questions through storytelling and role-playing in a participatory workshop.  

Elias Newman is Jewish community organizer, educator, and men’s work facilitator living in New Orleans.   

Who Am I?

Meeting with Charlene Carruthers

Open to students who participated in the Liberation Collective and those who have engaged in organizing efforts on campus. 

Charlene Carruthers

“Sticky Belonging: Hegemonic Gazes and the Taming of Queer Asian American Identities”

What does it mean to belong as a queer Asian American in the United States? Whose terms is their belonging really on? To answer these questions, Mary Muromcew ‘22’s research employs a historical lens to explore how queer Asian Americans navigate belonging in the State, the Asian American community, and the LGBTQ+ community, or what she calls “Places of Belonging.” During her presentation, Muromcew will show how the identity of a US citizen is rooted in whiteness and heterosexuality, and how legal strategies of belonging used by the Asian American and LGBTQ+ communities only further ostracize queer Asian Americans. Muromcew will utilize terms and theories such as hegemonic gaze, interest-convergence theory, and racial triangulation to confront a history which has made belonging conditional and ephemeral. 

Mary Muromcew Advisor: MJ Wong Engel, Fellow in English

What do we want?

Community Organizing 101  

Given a reality of injustice, how do we create justice? This workshop reflects on the power of youth resistance movements and community organizing as a method of creating social change. This experiential and interactive workshop will explore recommended steps involved in the process of community-based activism and introduce methods of nonviolent direct action. This popular education-style workshop uses an intersectional lens to consider Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s understanding of the triple evils (racism, poverty and militarism) and connect them to today’s work for justice. All levels of experience are welcome.  

Mariko Dodson, co-coordinator of the Social Justice Leadership Institute, and City School

Towards Queer-Inclusive, Trauma-Informed, Sex-Positive Health Education in Secondary Schools  

In a 2017 NAIS report, authors Fonte et. al write, “Health education and sexuality education curricula may be interpreted as competing with the ultimate mission of core academic schooling.” What are the perceived and real barriers to establishing comprehensive health education in your school, with your peers? Learn the tenets of and resources needed for a sex education curriculum that is queer-inclusive, trauma-informed, and sex-positive. This session also covers the importance of values-driven mentorship in developing these programs. We will implicate ourselves, our attitudes/narratives around sexuality, and our views in our discussion, so come ready to share! 

Kay Heffernan, Sexual Health Educator based at Vanderbilt University, and former Phillips Academy Fellow in English

Turning Dreams & Goals into Reality: How to Make Justice Happen

When asked the question, what do we want? in relation to social justice, the question is often met with “realistic” goals rather than the dreams and ideals we actually want to achieve. Using education justice as a framework, this workshop will showcase how to define what we want and aim to create in our world, as well as identify the barriers on the path to getting what we want and ways to remove them. This workshop focuses on making our dreams our steadfast goals and ways to ensure our dreams of equity, liberation, and justice into our new reality.  

Emily Ndiohko ‘18 & Emma Slibeck ‘20

Black Language Matters: Seeking Justice for Speakers of African American Language  

Following George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict for the shooting death of unarmed Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in 2013, social media users flooded the internet with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, sparking a movement and demanding #JusticeForTrayvon! But few, if any, demanded justice for Trayvon Martin’s African American English-speaking friend, Rachel Jeantel who was a key witness in Zimmerman’s trial. Many criticized Rachel Jeantel for the way that she spoke during her testimony, but they did not know the rich history of her dialect or even why she spoke the way that she did. Participants will learn about the history of African American Language (AAL) in the United States, discuss the ways in which AAL speakers face covert discrimination in the legal system, and explore strategies for uncovering linguistic biases to promote a more just society. #BlackLanguageMatters. 

Dominique Branson, PhD candidate in linguistics at University of Pittsburgh 

Building a World without Borders 

“This land was Mexican once, / was Indian always / and is. / And will be again.”  
— Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza 

What do we mean when we say #AbolishICE? What would it look like to tear down those steel walls? Where could imagining a world without borders take us? Through a series of journal prompts, small group discussions, and personal testimony, we will grapple with Charlene Carruthers’ question “what do we want?” in the context of the ongoing struggle for a world without borders. We will walk away from this workshop with sharpened visions of justice, broader understandings of the immigration system under the Trump administration, and stories from movement frontlines in what is currently known as the U.S./Mexico border. This workshop will also conclude with an invitation to join Study and Struggle weekly meetings through the rest of winter term to further our political education. Please note: this presentation will include topics such as police violence, incarceration, deportation, and death. MJ Wong Engel ‘13, PA Fellow in English

What are we building?

“We Have All the Tools We Need:” What Our Communities Know about Care

While our ideas about mental health care have been profoundly shaped by racism and capitalism, as BIPOC people, many of us have also learned about care in our families and communities. In this interactive workshop, we’ll reflect on care practices we’ve learned in community and how we’ve already been building collective care (sometimes without even knowing it). Facilitators will discuss collective care during the pandemic, including mutual aid, and participants will be able to identify ways they can incorporate collective care practices in their lives and begin practicing these tools in the workshop. This workshop space is for students who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color.  

Kimberly Cajuste and Uma Venkatraman, SJLI Co-Facilitators 

Whitepolitik: The Linguistic Construction of “Americanness” and “un–Americanness” in Public Rhetoric

Institutions and institutionalization are important concepts when thinking about “Americanness” as an ideological cultural product. In this workshop, we will examine political public rhetoric in an effort to understand “Americanness,” “un– Americanness,” and their relationship to white supremacy. 

Dr. Anthony Perry, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at The Lab School of Washington

BLM and the global issue of racism: How to make a difference in your corner of the world

In this workshop, we will explore how the tragic death of George Floyd sparked the established BLM movement to explode across the world by analyzing some of the vast demonstrations that took place in 2020 in over 60 countries and on all 7 continents. Millions of people not only stood in protest and solidarity of the horrific way Floyd was killed, but to also bring awareness to the racial injustices that occur in their local communities on a daily basis. During the workshop, you will hear a trialed and tested way that you could make a difference in your own community, even if you have no previous experience in ‘activism’ so that maybe you could do the same.  

Danny Evans ‘16, BLM Organizer in Leeds

It Ain’t Over: Using Direct Action to Promote an Anti-Racist Culture Shift  

After a summer that shone a light on the racial injustice in our country, Andover now more than ever has proved its necessity for a culture shift involving each student creating equity within our shared spaces. Through this workshop, we will acknowledge and engage with both the race-based privileges and disadvantages that students bring to our school. Using storytelling, race affinity, and group discussion, prepare to analyze your personal Andover experience and learn how to take direct action. 

Victoria Ortiz ‘23 & Ariana Phillips ‘21

Healthcare Access for Marginalized Communities  

This presentation will discuss the impact on access to health care, implications for health problems, and other similarities that exist with marginalized populations and the Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) user.  We will also provide some brief examples of how we are trying to mitigate some of the existing health disparities that exist for the Deaf ASL user in Rochester, NY. 

Dr. Jason Rotoli, Assistant Professor for Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Are we ready to win?

Abolition 101 

This workshop introduces the concept of police and prison abolition as, in the words of Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “not an absence, but a presence.” Through guided activities, participants will understand policing—in all its varied forms—as an inherent form of violence, one that actually makes our communities less safe. Participants will think through the kinds of resources—mental health care, schools, housing, etc.—that can replace policing, creating broader safety in our communities, and a more just world.

Benji Hart, Chicago-based author, activist, artist & educator

Examining Ideas of “Deserving” and “Undeserving” Poor in Housing and Economic Justice Policy

Since June 2020, an additional 8 million Americans have fallen below the federal poverty line, classified as a yearly income of $26,200 for a family of four.  By November, almost 12% of American households were living in poverty, with a 22% poverty rate in households without a high school degree.  The United States has both federal and state laws to provide food, housing, and economic assistance as a social safety for the poor, but those systems are largely built to help only the “deserving” poor, which leaves many households, including many with children, without assistance.  Much of this public policy intended to exclude the “undeserving” poor are rooted in racial and gendered stereotypes about why people are poor and how poor people behave.   This workshop will examine how our stereotypes about poor people have shaped laws regarding housing, shelter, and economic benefits, and explore ways to advocate for a better, more effective and inclusive public policy to address and alleviate poverty.  

Elizabeth Alfred, Housing and Benefits Attorney at Central West Justice Center, Worcester, MA

Positive Affirmations for our Personal         Revolutions  

Join teacher-artist, poet, playwright, and Andover Breadloaf network coordinator Yaneris Collado for a series of interactive activities. Participants will identify their personal revolutions through writing and declaring their positive affirmations. These affirmations will help participants envision practices we can start or continue to help us manifest social justice and the change they’d like to witness in their lifetime. 

Yaneris Collado, Andover Breadloaf Network Coordinator, Lawrence, MA 

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