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Black Girl Magic in Practice

Session 5
Rebecca Coven, Swetha Narasimhan — The Workshop School

We live in an age where racism and sexual assault are on the daily news, and yet the same violent acts are constantly perpetrated. While recognizing this painful truth, our goal is to create spaces around ourselves that encourage young women to counter the all-too-familiar narrative. When we do that, girls begin to feel that large-scale change is possible, and then are invested in playing their part to impact that change.

Talking to students about issues of racism, sexism, and sexual violence is not easy. There are often layers of experiences and feelings and internalized stereotypes that make it difficult to get to the bottom of these issues. Questions that help guide our thoughts are: What are ways for young women of color to feel heard and powerful in a society that wants anything but that? Where can we encourage girls to find hope and energy to fuel their passion for change?

At The Workshop School, we formed a group of female-identifying students who have determined that they care about the way girls and women are treated and want to do something to change it. Through conversations about sexism, intersectionality, action, and hope, our girls have identified ways that they want to make a difference in their school.

During this conversation, our girls will share their experiences as change-makers in our democratic school, and we will discuss ways this can happen in and outside of class.

Conversational Practice

Our girls will share their experiences through this group, and talk about the ways in which they have begun to see change throughout the school. As a group, we will split into smaller groups with students to each tackle a different aspect to these issues. With perspectives from both students and educators, we can have a more balanced conversation about how to structure these experiences for students, and how to create the spaces to do so.

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