BVR’s Social Justice Retreat is an opportunity for middle school students to engage in conversations about identity and privilege in relation to social justice topics.

2022 Social Justice Retreat
Friday, Jan 28, 2022
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Kicking off with The Nettukkusqk Singers, the day will consist of workshops on topics like sea-level rise, food insecurity, fast fashion, and climate change and how they intersect with our identities with a goal to heighten awareness and take action in our local communities. During the workshops, facilitators will support the students to work together, share stories, acknowledge differences, and find commonalities—with the aim to build a deeper, more inclusive, and committed community.

2022 Schedule

Welcome + Introduction + Land Acknowledgement

Keynote Speaker: Nettukkusqk Singers
The Nettukkusqk Singers are an intertribal group of southern New England women who perform traditional and contemporary songs on themes of indigenous identity, culture, and environmental justice.

Overview of the Day

Session 1: Workshops

Break + Snack

Session 2: Workshops

Session 3: Workshops

Lunch + Recess

Design + Create Projects

Reflective Closing

2022 Workshops

Location: Rogers Room
Toby Otting, Chawanzi Muwina, Alice Molinsky, Rachel Altman, BVR Upper School ’23

What exactly is environmental justice and who are the voices leading the charge? Learn about what some local activists are doing and how you can get involved! We will also take some time to think about issues you may be passionate about.

Location: Green Gym
Bren Bataclan, Artist

A decade ago, superstorms were a new thing in the Philippines where I was born. Now, however, they are a regular occurrence. A few years ago, I had an art exhibit about these immensely destructive typhoons. In my BVR presentation/workshop, I will show these paintings that highlight the resilience of the Filipino people during natural disasters. I will also share how I was able to be proactive and help typhoon victims through my artwork. Lastly, the students will have the opportunity to create a mini graphic novel about how global warming is affecting where they live and what they can do about it.

Location: Board Room “R3”
Ajani Otieno-Rudek ’16

Do you know what a food desert is? How many people around Boston experience food insecurity? Come learn about this former BVR student’s journey in community engagement work at The Food Project and how it lead him to understand the critical issue of food injustice. His work was so inspiring it fostered a love and passion for community farming.

SEA WALLS: Climate Injustice + You
Location: Design Level
Kannan Thiruvengadam, Boston Harbor Arts

Whom does climate change impact the most? What can you do about it? After a little Climate 101, we’ll explore these and other hard-hitting questions to hone in on the injustice and identify some impactful actions using the SeaWalls project as an example.

Location: 103
Miriam Stodolsky’23, Cambridge Ringe and Latin School, Sunrise Cambridge, Activist
Simone Colburn’23, Cambridge Ringe and Latin School, Spring Forward, Co-founder and Activist

Learn from two local high school climate activists involved in the Sunrise Movement and other climate organizations about climate justice and how you can make a difference by pushing for systemic changes. The workshop will involve conversations, a Pictionary activity, and time for questions.

Location: Room S5
Anna Levine ’22, Beaver Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

We make choices about what we wear every day. This workshop encourages you to ask yourself the following questions about your clothing. How long will you wear it for? Will it last? Where did it come from? How was it made and at what cost? In this workshop, you will learn about the effects of fast fashion on our world and how your informed choices can make a difference. We will also talk about all things thrifting!

Check out last year’s workshops and keynote speaker here.