Examining Racial Justice Interschool Seminar
A story from Day Four of Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools.
Inspired Teaching brought together students and adults from across the D.C. area to engage in intergenerational dialogue about Black Lives Matter. To kick-off the evening, Makia Green, a representative from the Black Lives Matter DMV chapter inspired the audience with her compelling story of how she began organizing for #BlackLivesMatter at a young age. Held at the Edmund Burke School, students and adults initially broke off into separate rooms to begin their text-based conversations. The student-selected topics included Gentrification in the DMV, Mental Illness & Race in the U.S., What’s Now and What’s Next for the BLM Movement, The War on Drugs, The Intersection of Gender & Racism, and #BlackLivesMatter Social Media & the Movement. After exploring the themes separately, adults joined the student-facilitated conversations to share perspectives and listen to one another.
Each conversation was powerful and honest. Students and adults alike were able to question and unpack racial justice with a diverse group of peers and community members with whom they wouldn’t otherwise interact. The student and adult participants recognized the importance of creating space for civil discourse. At the end of the evening, one student noted that Interschool Seminar is “important because in order to change people's perspectives we have to start talking and expressing ideas.” Another adult explained that conversation leads to action, stating, “the freedom to explore and learn through authentic conversations is really engaging and pushes both reflection and action.”
For all topics, participants were deeply invested in conversation, recognizing the urgency and significance of promoting racial justice. One student eloquently described the importance of the night, explaining that “it is imperative to bring these issues into the classroom; cultural and social literacy is a must-have for all young people.”