On Campus

Students discuss advocacy in afternoon workshops

Seamus Doyle ’21 said his group for white males watched Joyner Lucas’ “I’m not racist” video on YouTube, a two-part rap from the perspective of a white man and a black man. The group also talked about the normalized term “man up,” which could unintentionally put down women, Seamus said.  

“For me, the main takeaway from the conversation was that it’s important to think before you speak sometimes and how your words might affect the people around you,” he said. “I [also] think a really important part of the discussion was when we talked about how we can and should become more aware of our lives and our privilege.”

Ms. Kaur called the day a success.

“We bonded, laughed at ourselves a little, but also just felt good connecting with others who have had similar experiences,” she said about her South Asian affinity group. “My only issue was that it was too short, and we could have talked for longer.”

In the afternoon, group leaders of the action workshops facilitated discussions and informed students and teachers about their respective topics and corresponding resources.

Students in the global activism group, for instance, learned about poverty statistics around the world and looked into whether non-government and aid organizations are alleviating or contributing to poverty.

Tessa Haining ’19, who was in that group, said she was surprised to hear that the organizations harm the local economies by giving products to people in developing economies.

“When companies continually supply free materials, like shoes or rice, to a developing country, they stop the country’s own cobblers or rice growers from succeeding, which hurts the country’s economic development,” she said.

Theo Lukin-Yelin ’18 said he found his discussion about body image very engaging, though he wished there were more than three boys present compared to the 12 girls.

“I think body image is a topic that everyone can contribute to because it’s so widely encountered,” he said. “We ended up only talking about the perspectives that girls encounter on a daily basis, and although [that’s] very important, it would’ve been nice to discuss other perspectives as well.”

After the action workshops, the day ended with an assembly at the Nicholas Athletic Center, where Mr. Theobald and the CDCG gave closing remarks, emphasizing that they hope students and faculty continue to keep in mind the topics discussed.

“The goals for Community Day are not just important for the one day,” Mr. Theobald said, naming PRISM, Students Honoring all Differences and Embracing Similarities, Knight School for freshman, and community building assemblies as places where the Community Day work continues.

When the official program was over, Athena said she was really happy with how Community Day turned out, adding that the best part was hearing people talk about what they got out of the day.

“Of course, I really want to make a difference, but I also know that it’s just one day, so my personal goal for Community Day was to make sure at least a few people felt some sort of understanding that they might not have had before,” she said. “It was really reassuring to hear people in the hallways talking about how interesting their workshops and discussions were.”

Compared to previous years, she added, this year’s Community Day seemed the best so far.

“Community Days are like a series because they’re always changing,” she said. “The first one was education-based, the second one was casual and fun, and this year we were more organized and had better discussions. Next year’s will be different, too, and hopefully the improvement will continue!”

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