On March 8—International Women's Day—the Student Diversity Council (SDC) engaged the entire International student body for a Day of Action for Diversity and Inclusion. The SDC, inspired by their experience at the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in 2016, presented their ideas for the Day of Action to the academic council in August. After having received the support and go-ahead from administration, the students worked to organize a variety of activities and discussion groups for the day, and invited members of the Bay Area community—including District 5 Supervisor London Breed—to speak to the students and faculty about diversity and inclusion-related topics.
"We wanted to organize this event to address issues of discrimination, not only within International, but also on a more global scale. As many students are unaware of discrimination that their peers face, we wanted to provide a platform for sharing experiences and having open-minded conversations," said SDC member, Audrey.
Students participated in discussions about the homeless youth of San Francisco, led by Dr. Teri Delane of the Life Learning Academy; the concept of rebellion and action, with City College of San Francisco professor Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin; and white privilege, facilitated by IB theater teacher and artistic director of Back-à-Dos Michelle Haner.
During a "fishbowl" activity on the Politics of Language, one student stood up to talk about her experience with anxiety—something she said she had never spoken about in that kind of environment, or in that capacity, ever before. She said, in that moment, she felt comfortable sharing and supported by her peers. Upon reflection, Audrey noted "I was impressed by the honesty and bravery of the students. Everyone challenged themselves to listen and learn from their peers. This shows our community’s potential to become even more inclusive. I was also proud of the students who moderated and who demonstrated the importance and power of student leadership."
Conversations continued on the bus to an athletic game, and at home. Audrey is excited about future plans, but recognizes the importance of everyone's commitment and involvement. "The Diversity Council will work hard to create more opportunities for these conversations, but ultimately, it is everyone’s responsibility to continue the conversation."
We thank the SDC and the entire International student body for their insightful and respectful discussions, and look forward to more in our community.
Members of the Student Diversity Council, who planned and organized the Day of Action for the entire student body.
High school students and faculty listened to Jeremiah Jackson's opening speech, "Starting with Us: A Conversation Regarding Equity & Inclusion Practice," to kick off the student-led Day of Action. Mr. Jackson is Director of Equity and Inclusion at College Preparatory in Oakland.
The Student Diversity Council met with District 5 Supervisor London Breed after her speech to the entire student body, which concluded the day’s events. “It was inspirational and a wonderful treat for all of us. We’re very proud of the students and it’s inspiring to hear the discussions continue in the hallways and at home,” said High School Principal Joel Cohen.