Upper School Privilege Day on April 13 was a time for listening, questioning, observing and learning as the entire student body and faculty examined real-life issues of privilege, oppression, and inequities in school and beyond. The day was organized by the Upper School’s Youth Action Project (YAP), who led — with other interested and involved students, teachers and guests — 15 different workshops. Among the topics were race, gender, gender identity, class, disability, the ways people experience some form of privilege, and how that privilege affects others. This was the Upper School’s 4th Annual Privilege Day and special thanks go to Orinthia Swindell (photo at right), Director of Diversity and Institutional Equity, Russell Marsh, Associate Director, and the YAP student leaders and their faculty advisers for bringing the program to life.
How to Recognize LGBTQ+ Microaggressions and Combat Them
Facilitators: Fatima E.B., Ernest M., and Alex V. (Students)
Description: The purpose of this workshop is to teach people how to dissect microaggressions against the LGBTQ+ community and to introduce healthy ways to combat them.
Facilitators: Naima B. and Janine S. (Students)
Description: Our workshop will help people identify the various privileges they have and figure out constructive ways of being an accountable and responsible individual.
Where White Women, Patriarchy & Anti-Racism Intersect
Facilitator: Chelsea Gregory (Guest)
This workshop will explore how white women interact with patriarchy in ways that reinforce dynamics that are oppressive to people of color, and how anti-racist practices can interrupt that pattern. Students will reflect on their perceptions of white women in relation to patriarchal structures, sharing lived experiences and observations based on common narratives in popular media.
Moving Past Allyship: Being Accountable
Facilitator: John Gentile (Guest)
Description: As white people, what is our role in working toward racial justice? Through interactive exercises we will discuss and unpack how we can move beyond allyship and interrogate strategies that hold us accountable to the daily fight against racial injustice.
Facilitators: Alexia S. and Kia S. (Students)
Description: This workshop is going to raise awareness and educate participants about mental health and the stigmas surrounding it. We will be answering the questions: What is a mental illness, what is a stigma, and how it affects people in their everyday lives. Moreover, we will include ways to be an ally and an advocate for people apart of this community. Since this community is sometimes under represented , we want to shed light on the issues surrounding this topic.
White Womyn: How we can work against racism and patriarchy
Kate Engle & Natania Kremer (Faculty)
In this workshop, we will explore how white identity and patriarchy impact white womyn. We will look at how our behaviors as womyn with white privilege might get in the way of effective anti-racist and anti-sexist organizing. We will discuss strategies and tips for being effective anti-racists and anti-sexists.
Facilitator: Caila F., Iniya M. (Students)
Description: We will be talking about the effects of natural crises on low income communities and how poor the aid and the media coverage is, with a focus on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Rape Culture @ BFS
Facilitators: Tatyana R.l and Chris B. (Students)
Description: This workshop will explore how rape culture affects us at BFS and the part that it plays in our everyday lives. We will be talking about gender expectations, how race adds to the equation, and how rape culture has ingrained itself in our society and even our school such that it becomes normalized.
Facilitators: Iniya M., Abrielle M., Maya W., Nisa Y. (Students)
Description: This workshop aims to shed light on the experiences that womyn of color often face in the private school setting and beyond. Its purpose is to emphasize the importance of recognizing intersectionality when discussing womyn’s rights, as well as the diversity of experiences within the WOC community.
Men of Color
Facilitators: Sam F., Marcellus T. (Students)
Description: This workshop is for people who identify as men of color and feel the lasting effects of racial profiling in America. We will also discuss issues of sexual orientation and how it affects males of color who do not conform to straight stereotypes
Facilitators: Ruby P. and Maya B. (Students)
Description: This workshop is going to explore what white feminism is and the different ways it manifests itself both within the school community and the outside world. Our goal is to show the importance of intersectionality in feminism and how being a white feminist limits your ability to understand problems such as human sex trafficking, rape culture, socio-economic inequality, and the underrepresentation of black feminist icons such as Angela Davis and Audre Lorde.
Are We Still Divided? Cross Racial Friendships at BFS
Facilitators: Zenzile Keith & Jesse Phillips-Fein (Faculty)
Through sharing our personal experiences, we will reflect on the obstacles to creating healthy cross-racial friendships.
Facilitators: Tydell B., Naomi M. , Milo H. (Students)
Description: In this workshop we will be presenting how young activists can take their activism off the keyboard and into real life, whether that be making art to going to protests. We will also explore how privilege comes into other forms of activism that really put yourself out there other than sharing an article on facebook and how to overcome fears of involving yourself in other forms of activism.
Not ________ Enough
Facilitators: Patonya P.& Jade HP. (Students)
This workshop aims to explore the challenges of entering private school from public school and how we navigate the assumptions that are made, both at school and in our home communities, about the public versus private educational experiences.
Is It “Snitching” if I Speak Up?
Facilitator: Kamal Victorious DaCosta ’93 (BFS Alumnus)
We will discuss how we can let our responsibility to community shine past the “no snitch” misinterpretation of popular street culture.