This year, the annual Parents’ Association Fall Dinner featured presentations by students who participated in activities related to social justice education. The speeches were used to highlight the work being done by Beaver’s Hiatt Center for Social Justice Education. Here are two students’ speeches.
Maeve Williams ’10 – Women2Women Conference
This August I attended the 5th Annual Women2Women Conference sponsored by Empower Peace with two other classmates and two faculty advisors. Women2Women is a leadership program that connects young women from the US and other countries, mainly from the Arab and Muslim world, to discuss Women’s Rights Issues. We talked in depth about issues facing women in our countries, as well as got to know each other and found a large number of similarities that exist between us despite coming from very different backgrounds. It is truly inspirational to call these girls – who are starting their own schools, helping women immigrants find jobs, etc. – my friends. It was amazing hearing girls talk about personal gender struggles that I’ve only read about. International women’s rights issues all of a sudden became real to me. Throughout the week we heard from dozens of individuals, mainly women, who are prominent leaders in their fields and dedicated to equal rights. At the end of the week we split up into groups by region and identified one issue we would like to focus working on after the conference. The action plans we developed with our groups were presented to men and women leaders in the Massachusetts State House. The Beaver delegation’s plans include creating workshops on domestic violence for high school girls, installing educational art exhibits addressing domestic violence, creating a documentary on girls’ self esteem issues, and changing pregnancy and maternity leave laws in Massachusetts.
Danny DeLeon ’11 – Social Action Leaders
The Social Action Leaders (SALs) is a committed group of Upper School students who meet once a week to discuss topics of social justice and how we can go about creating change. It is important to recognize that there are a group of students that see and understand inequalities and are willing to generate change.
Last year we focused on the topic of privilege and had success examining different types of privilege within the study body. We challenged the Beaver community to think critically through an all school presentation and the in an evening workshop with parents.
Being a part of the Social Action Leaders has given me the opportunity to form relationships with people across all lines of human differences. That has become something I really treasure.