Ms. Brown’s Equity and Social Justice Class Reflects on Black History Month

Ms. Brown’s Grade 12 Equity and Social Justice class commenced mini-projects inspired by Black History Month. Students engaged in the creative process and were encouraged to create something that represented a shift in their thinking. Many students chose to create music playlists that featured Black artists and songs about the lived experiences of Black people, some designed informative posters, some created pieces of art and poetry, and a few wrote letters to themselves about their commitment to being an anti-racist and acknowledgement of unearned white privilege.

After creating these mini-projects, the class gathered to reflect upon their learning; they shared their projects with one another with the hope that they could incorporate the artists and songs into their own playlists and to expand their thinking of what a creative project could look, feel, and sound like.

They engaged in a visible thinking exercise; they shared their shifts of thinking, their thinking process, the most impactful quotes from the BHM inspired readings, and their questions on chart paper around the room. This led to a Harkness discussion where students shared the knowledge they’ve gained through these projects and through being active in their anti-racist work throughout Black History Month. 

Their conversation ran the gamut as students pondered questions, such as:
  • “How can you balance and support multiple minorities?”
  • “How can I increase my self-awareness so that I’m able to detect my white fragility?”
  • “How do we acknowledge when we’re being biased?”
Students engaged in lively conversation as they considered these questions and more; they acknowledged that they have more to learn in the ongoing journey of being anti-racist. Ms. Brown reminded students how they can continue exploring new information and exposing their minds to divergent perspectives through the media they consume. Together, the class considered how social media outlets create echo chambers that serve to reinforce their existing ideologies and what they can do to break out of those chambers and challenge old thought patterns.
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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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