Passionate Advocates for Gender Equity | A Student-Led Equity Initiative at LCS

Students in the PAGE (Passionate Advocates for Gender Equity) group are currently recruiting artists to participate in their OurStory art exhibition on May 8, 2021. The exhibition aims to ignite conversations in our community about gender equity by representing gender discrimination through artwork. 

OurStory will feature all forms of art, including painting, drawing, dancing, singing, drama, spoken word, poetry, and more. Students, teachers, and staff are all encouraged to submit their artwork to be featured in the show.  

Yeseo Kim ’22, Minjung (Min) Son ’22, Louise Prindiville-Porto ’22, and Jana Rubel ’22 started this project in January and have been working hard to create a powerful spirit event that will bring their peers together (safely). To maintain LCS safety protocols, the OurStory exhibition will be hosted in various locations on the LCS campus, allowing student houses to safely visit each part of the exhibit. Since OurStory will also be hosted as an LCS spirit event, paper house points will be awarded to those students who attend. 

To learn more about this project, we spoke to some of the student artists involved in the making of OurStory. 

Q: What is the PAGE group?

Min ’22: PAGE stands for Passionate Advocates of Gender Equity. Our mission is to bridge gender gaps and advocate for those facing gender-based discrimination through education in our community and beyond. 

Q: How did the name for the exhibit come about? 

Min ’22: The name for the exhibit is ‘OurStory,’ which came from the word ‘History.’ Our slogan for the exhibit is “HiStory is not the only story”. We want to provide an area for everyone to share their personal experiences of gender discrimination without excluding any gender identities. We originally had HERstory but decided that was too exclusive. 

When speaking with the students involved about OurStory, their passion was palpable. 

“I want to create a space for people in the school community to share their passion for gender equity and take action towards it. It’s important to me that this club remains after my Lakefield career. I think as a school, it’s our responsibility to educate youth on gender assumptions so that when they become adults and have greater influence, they can educate others around them.” - Louise ’22 

 
“Feminism is viewed rather differently in my home country, South Korea, than it is here in Canada and in other western countries. It is deemed as an antisocial ideology that excludes men and prioritizes women rather than an astute tool to liberate both men and women from their respective gender roles. I want PAGE to be an opportunity for me to not only educate the people in the community but to educate myself. Hopefully, I can apply what I learned here to bring clarity about what feminism really is at home.”- Yesseo ’22 

“I want to make sure that every member of our Lakefield community is judged by their actions and character, not by the gender they identify with. I hope that students will be inspired and impacted by our initiatives. Hopefully, the conversations we spark can give students the toolkit necessary to help pave the road to a future in which gender equality is a reality in our school community and in the workforce.” - Jana ’22 

“After learning more about gender, I noticed that gender discrimination is everywhere. I was a person who was awkward talking about gender issues; I am pretty sure there are a lot of people around me who feel the same. I want to use this as an opportunity to spark the conversation and notice daily life discrimination in our community. I am a strong believer in ‘Small things make a big change.’ I hope this initiative can be an opportunity to show that!” - Min ’22

As a group, the students say they are excited about the event because it’s an opportunity to shine a light on an important issue in the world. “We want to open up the conversation about sexual harassment and also about the unconscious biases [we may have] and [the corresponding] actions that we make [based upon them].”
  
“This exhibit is a space for people to share their own experiences with gender discrimination in a safe environment...We want more people to share their experiences in order to bring awareness to those who don’t encounter gender discrimination.” - Min ’22

Leading up to the exhibit, the students involved are also selling a tote bag, designed by Alana Kim ’22. The proceeds from the bag will be donated to the Peterborough YWCA to subsidize programs supporting gender-based violence victims in the local community. The design for the bag was heavily inspired by the theme of the exhibit.

“When Min asked me about designing a logo, I was really excited as I thought the cause was something very special… Before narrowing it down to one final logo, I came up with a number of designs that all had a common theme of women supporting women and acknowledging the beauty of women in general. I took style inspiration from tote bag designs on Pinterest to come up with something that would successfully reflect PAGE's purpose and look good on a bag. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to capture the idea of interconnectedness and women embracing one another and their differences.” - Alana ’22

We look forward to the exhibit on May 8 and we are so proud of the work our students are putting into this event! Stay tuned for highlights from OurStory in May!
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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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