This post is part of a series for the National Association of Independent Schools and the People of Color Conference. Liza will be blogging throughout this week related to the conference.
Welcome to Day 1!
Wow! What a way to start the day. I was able to make it to a number of sessions (including my own!) and wanted to offer a few highlights for participants:
- Did you make it to the opening session? If not, you missed brilliance. Props to the SLDC team for their incredible "fairy tale" connections to our current political climate. And, much gratitude to keynote speaker Kimberle Crenshaw who, reminded us, that intersectionality is NOT just a term we can be throwing around. And, we must be so careful to understand the ways in which intersectionality was to intended to center the experiences of Black women; and how, in many ways we have changed, co-opted and watered down intersectionality. There is a call to action -- go back and re-center the experiences of Black women. Now.
- I was able to do 35 minutes of a session on "Asians Behaving Critically" with a packed room of educators! Thanks to all those who came out and joined us. We talked about ways in which we have come up short in our own teaching and learning about Asian Americans, and created an A-B-C action item for our own capacity building. Our essential question: How can Asian American students understand activism if we, ourselves, do not know who Asian American activists are?
- Affinity Groups - I hope you went to yours! For some, affinity group space can feel intimidating -- walking into a room of people you don't know. If you went, I hope you felt loved. If you are wondering if you should go, YES. You should.
In our affinity group, the terms "roses, thorns and buds" was offered:
- (Roses) What is something you have experienced at the conference that was positive?
- (Thorns) What is something that you hope improves?
- (Buds) What is something that you are hopeful for?
My rose: A great morning session with a packed room of educators!
My thorns: 1) the lack of gender inclusive restrooms that are publicly advertised; and 2) the lack of acknowledgement of the land which was first of indigenous and First Peoples and the Tongva community
My bud: Continuing to be in a vibrant community of people of color!
Hope you're having a great conference!
PS: Shout out to my good friend, Tamara Clark (Friends Academy, NY) and my partner Jorge Vega in this photo!