MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
Stay Woke with Middle School Racial Affinity Groups
Intermediate: Assumes some familiarity with or exposure to core content
Equity & Inclusion Exemplars: Programs, Models, Best Practices, Promising Next Practices
Round 2 only
Erica Snowden, Lower School Dean, Greene Street Friends School
Josh Goodstein, Middle School Science Teacher, Greene Street Friends School
Greene Street Friends School has just finished our third year of mandatory racial affinity groups in middle school. At the end of our first lesson ever, an anonymous comment was displayed on a message board for all students to see: "If you are black, then you have something to say. If you are white, then just shut up." Come learn about how we turned this divisive comment into a powerful lesson on color blindness. We will share the process of developing these groups, the lessons that we have prepared, and the many challenges that we have faced along the way. In overcoming these challenges, we have developed a toolbox of best practices that we will share in the hopes of supporting other educators in starting similar groups. Come learn how our groups have evolved from year 1 to now, focusing on deeper, more personal conversations, bringing in students of even younger grades, and building student leadership in engaging members outside of our community in our now annual Stay Woke Day.
Affinity groups at Greene Street Friends School have been instrumental in helping all students to develop their own positive racial identities. The groups have led to more conversations about race outside of these groupings and helped our students to recognize privilege and respond to microaggressions. Lastly, they have helped our students to recognize the complexities of race that exist within our school and in the real world.
We hope participants will feel empowered to start affinity groups at their own schools or further develop programs that already exist. Participants will hopefully also be able to learn from our experiences to avoid many of the challenges that we have dealt with and implement some of our best practices from the start.
is an educator with over 15 years of experience within the Friends Schools network. Currently, she is the Lower School Dean of Students at Greene Street Friends School and also serves as the school's Diversity Clerk. She has presented at the UPenn Ethnography Conference, and conferences for ADVIS, NAIS, and the Cultural Competency Institute. Erica is a contributing author for The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys.
Erica is also presenting "
Using Picture Books as Mirrors and Windows to Enhance an Anti-Bias Curriculum
" with Julia Copeland, Greene Street Friends School.
is a middle school science teacher at Greene Street Friends School. He has played leadership roles in the formation and running of middle school racial affinity groups as well as the annual student-led Stay Woke Day. Josh has presented at conferences for ADVIS and PAIS.
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