Beaver parents had the opportunity to participate in the Race Card Project at this month’s Parent Association assembly, which focused on the school’s work in the areas of diversity, equity, civic engagement, and inclusion. Beaver adapted the Race Card Project in 2015 to spark conversation about race and identity among students, faculty, and staff. The original project – which was started in 2010 by NPR journalist Michele Norris – has individuals think about the concept of race and identity, and then express their thoughts, experiences, or observations in six words.
Led by Liz Skinner, Director of the Hiatt Center, and Joe Christy, Director of Student Engagement, the parent activity involved participants listening to segments from three NPR stories before considering the following prompt:
Think about race, ethnicity, culture, and identity. Think about your experiences and observations. Now, express your thoughts in one six(ish) word sentence.
Here are few of the sentences parents shared:
- Moving ahead but always looking back
- It’s hard being black in corporate America
- ‘Do you feel safe?’ said the little white woman
- Acknowledge that not everyone can participate
- Gilmore Girls. What about race?
In addition to the Race Card Project activity, Liz and Joe also discussed how Beaver’s work with diversity, equity, civic engagement, and inclusion is centered around Beverly Tatum’s ABC approach – affirming identity, building community, and cultivating leadership – as described in her book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria?”. They also shared different activities Middle and Upper School students engaged in during the year, including workshops led by students who attended summer programs at the City School, the YW Init, and Women2Women as well as BVR Hiatt Institute programming like Facilitating Conversations about Identity and What is Feminism?.
After the event, parents said they enjoyed learning more about the work that goes on in the Hiatt Center and engaging in the Race Card Project.
One parent said:
“It was very empowering to hear from other parents, their experiences, and how they identify themselves. It was such a positive and moving experience and I felt like I got to know some people much deeper. Amazing event.”
Many parents requested more events that reflect the work Beaver does to strive towards an inclusive environment, and as a result, Beaver will hold three next year – one per term. More details to come!
Read more the work that happens in the Hiatt Center on the Hiatt Center Tumblr.