Claire: What They Learned

I’ve written before briefly about the student leadership conference that was recently held at the high school where I work. Twenty-five students participated, and the purpose was

to engage students from a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds in conversations on issues of racism, intolerance, discrimination, and allied behavior

I’m proud to say that I helped organize the logistics of this conference and make it happen in our school. Today, I will be presenting to the school’s diversity committee to try to figure out next steps. It’s a busy time of year (as always!) and since I spent the morning compiling the results of the surveys given out to students at the end of the day, I thought I would share some of the results for my blog post today.

Every single one of the attendees said that the conference was “very” significant for them. I hope their responses to the prompt below will intrigue and inspire you as they do me! I’m happy to share more notes on what worked best for these students in terms of structuring the conference if anyone is interested.

(Note: *=response repeated by additional participant)

Things I learned today:

everyone has subconscious stereotypes

*every race or culture has/faces stereotypes

the stereotypes of different groups of people

stereotypes are alive & concerning

*stereotyping portrays an incorrect general image (& hurts)

some people fit “categories/labels” I wouldn’t have expected them to

my identity & how I feel about myself is very important

such serious conversations are possible @ school

many people here are willing to open up about race

high schoolers really care about their background

we can be intimate & work comfortably w/in our own discomfort

racism can be stopped if we respect one another

respect is necessary for any constructive conversation

respect, openness, understanding

how to be more open

it’s okay to be open about race & to share your experiences w/ others

there still is racism

racism is present everywhere b/w anyone & towards anyone

*****pain/racial distress in all races

**all races/everyone affected by and deals with issues of race/racism

**people of color aren’t the only ones who suffer from what racism does

many different races experience the same struggles

*many people of different races (all) share discriminations

there are certain experiences some people are not aware of

everyone has different experiences, regardless of race

other people’s views & experiences

I got to learn more about Indian people and Middle Eastern people

that people were so diverse

understanding of different cultures is key

even though people have gone through different experiences, the take-home message is still the same

we are more similar than we think

*don’t judge others (& just listen)

*not to make assumptions about people; learn about them first

not everyone w/ an accent is uneducated

we should celebrate diversity instead of ignoring it

you cannot SEE ethnicity

to see what people feel

no one is to blame

as a commonality, we need to change our ways

students have the power to make change

I want change for the better

welcome change

I need to have more of a voice toward ignorant comments being made

what to say/not say to people

understand the impact of things that are said

sometimes being super nice to another racial group can be offensive

definition of race, discrimination, prejudice & how they differ from each other

proper terms to use when discussing racism/discrimination

KHP Art Below

KHP - I am working on the whale again, I though you would rather see a pretty flower instead.

KHP – I am working on the whale again, I though you would rather see a pretty flower instead.

This entry was posted in Claire, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Claire: What They Learned

  1. khpixler says:

    It just sounds like such an amazing experience for students and adults alike! Nice work Teach.

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