by Samantha Urban, University of Hartford Communications Intern
On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, Watkinson private school will be participating in its fourth annual Social Justice Day. This day is dedicated to learning about issues and topics that are important to community members, as well as empowering students to talk about issues that are important to them. This year’s theme is ‘Embracing Change’ and is all about raising awareness, promoting dialogue, and making connections.
Private school students in grades 8-12 will be leading workshops on topics significant to them that they would like to educate their peers on. Students from grade 8 through the post-graduate level were invited to participate in running these workshops. Some of the workshops being offered include Breaking Down Beauty, Awareness for the Signing-Impared, and Redefining “Privacy” in the Information Age.
There are 24 workshops being offered, 14 of which will be run by students with the help of a faculty coach. The other 10 will be run by faculty alone. This gives faculty an opportunity to do a deep dive into a topic they are passionate about, that might not be included in their regular curriculum.
Our 6th and 7th-grade private middle school students will be participating in two workshops designed specifically for Watkinson’s youngest community members. The first session will include learning about the Birmingham Children’s March and comparing the ADL’s pyramid of hate with a pyramid of hope which they will create in small groups. The second session will continue our work on microaggressions and will give students more practice and vocabulary for what it means to be an ally. This morning is designed to help our middle schoolers see that young people have power and can use their voices to create change in their community.
Students will be attending 2 workshops of their choosing. After both workshop sessions have been completed, students’ advisory groups will be getting together to discuss and debrief the experiences each student had within the workshops they chose to attend.