October 15

Human Library – breaking stereotypes through honest conversation

The human library concept originated in 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of a youth organization’s work to combat violence.

More recently, the San Diego Times reported on this idea being put to use in the San Diego Library.

Here’s how the human library worked: people signed up for 20-minute slots of time during which they could “check out” and have a casual conversation with a “human book,” a person with a particular life experience that is generally stereotyped. In addition to Spacek, the other human books on Saturday were “refugee,” “punk entrepreneur,” “rapper,” “disabled,” “journalist,” “dwarfism,” “blind,” “transgender,” “veteran,” “Muslim,” “graffiti artist” and “psychic.”

 

October 8

Happy Indigenous People’s Day

Old habits die hard, but ever so slowly, cities are beginning to acknowledge the true “discoverers” of America, the Native Indians.  Just as southern states continue to work on addressing the pain brought by honoring historical figures that caused so much suffering and racism, so too must all of us address the realities of Christopher Columbus.

We must continue to work on the racism that works at an institutional level.  Whether removing iconic monuments, renaming schools or renaming and refocusing our pride in holidays, we must continue to move forward.

For additional coverage on Indigenous People’s day, click here.

January 13

Courageous Conversations 2

I never cease to be amazed by the power of students to connect across all sorts of barriers, if they are just given the time and space.

Today 60 students, from ENL classes, VAASA, Student Council and World of Difference spent the morning together.  In getting to know each other, they discovered not only how much they didn’t know about each other, but also how much they have in common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continue our journey to open dialogue in respectful and meaningful ways….

November 11

Courageous Conversations

Today we welcomed back Simone Gamble to work with student leaders around the topic of Safe Spaces and Courageous Conversations.  Student leaders from VAASA, Student Council, Student Advisory Committee, the Gay Straight Alliance and World of Difference were invited to sign up for this 2 1/2 hour workshop.  52 students came together sharing experiences, concerns and ideas around the topic of diversity and specifically race relations at North.  Students had the opportunity to speak, question, and brainstorm.  They also role played different scenarios of things that have happened within the school, modeling how to be a good ally in those situations.  Most powerful, perhaps, was their verbalization of what they need/want in terms of support from their teachers, such as, continued focus on the creation of safe spaces.  They would also like to have more assemblies that are small and intimate like this one and open to all students.

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We continue our journey to open dialogue in respectful and meaningful ways….

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November 1

Undoing Racism Workshop

With the help of a Student Impact Grant from the PTSA, teacher, Nancy Diamond attended the nationally renowned conference, Undoing Racism. Working alongside other educators, health professionals, legal professionals,  the history of racism was studied, and honest discussions had.

For more information on future workshops, click here

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Overview from PISAB:

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. Our workshops utilize a systemic approach that emphasizes learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as a mechanism for perpetuating racism.