High School Celebrates 2nd Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Day Virtually

High School Celebrates 2nd Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Day Virtually


On February twenty fifth, Sequoyah’s highschool celebrated its second annual Range, Fairness, and Inclusion (DEI) Day, hosted and co-organized by the Chameleon Coalition and the college’s Fairness Alliance Stewardship. With its mission of Celebrating Tradition and Confronting Biases: Reclaiming Our Inside and Outer Chameleon, the day introduced collectively a sequence of primarily student-led workshops for college students and school to have interaction in.

To begin the morning, seniors Aaliyah Balangue, Andrea Bizarro, and Remali De Silva, founders of the Chameleon Coalition, set the tone for the morning with music, a mindfulness meditation, and a quick historical past on the significance of the day to the highschool group. Sequoyah’s DEI day was impressed by the Sequoyah group’s coming collectively in response to  the Westboro Baptist Church’s protests in 2019 towards Rose Queen Louise Siskel, the primary overtly bisexual Rose Queen within the parade’s historical past. The college responded to the hate with a message of selling love. The group got here collectively within the morning spreading messages of affection to these driving, college students performed the cello, and there was poster making. See previous article for extra data on the occasion here.

Over the course of the day, college students led 12 workshops on matters starting from police brutality (Historical past of the police – police reform – abolishing police), to areas particularly for members of the BIPOC group, akin to Love and rage – Id with Race and Your Relationship with Anger.

See beneath for workshops supplied, highlights from totally different workshops, and interviews with facilitators.

Anti-Racist Curriculum

Ask a Lawyer: Authorized Rights of College students

Celebration of Tradition

The Guitar of Melanie Faye

Therapeutic: An Emphasis on Psychological Well being and Intergenerational Trauma

Historical past of the police – police reform – abolishing police 

If Heroes Have been Black… and Feminine: A Have a look at the Work of 4 African American and Afro-Colombian Visible Artists 

Intersectional Feminism is for Everybody

LA 2028: Olympics or NOlympics?

Love and rage – Id with Race and Your Relationship with Anger

Rockin’ to Loss of life!: Analyzing A Black Proto-Punk Album

Understanding and Dismantling Techniques of Oppression

Workshop: Understanding and Dismantling Techniques of Oppression

Hosted by: Claire Donahue, Pupil (twelfth grader) and Chelsea Confalone, College

Workshop description: On this workshop about understanding oppression, college students discovered about 5 principal layers of oppression. These included ideological, structural/institutional, organizational, interpersonal, and internalized. Points of every of those layers may be discovered all through society, and are consistently perpetuated. On this workshop, college students had been additionally requested to debate ways in which they may have energy over these, in addition to beginning factors for dismantling oppression. Donahue participated in some anti-oppression workshops over the summer time, and needed to share what she had discovered. She understands that “justice, fairness, and anti-oppression work may be actually tough,” and hoped “that by beginning the dialog together with different workshop leaders we are able to all be taught collectively.”

Workshop: Intersectional Feminism is for Everybody

Hosted by: Aaliyah Balangue, Pupil (twelfth grader) and Arden Thomas, College

Workshop description: This workshop centered on making a secure house to speak about experiences with sure components of id. They began off the course by introducing Kimberlé Crenshaw, a lawyer, advocate, and professor, who developed the time period intersectionality. This describes how points of 1’s id like race, gender, and sophistication intersect with one another. Subsequent, members of this class participated in rounds of council with the immediate: flip your digicam on if each day you might be conscious or are made conscious of your… This included race, ethnicity, gender id, sexual orientation, faith, age, capability, and socio-economic standing. It was highly effective seeing who turned their digicam on repeatedly, versus who didn’t in any respect. These with their cameras on then had the chance to share their story with that sure a part of their id. 

Workshop: Rockin’ to Loss of life!: Analyzing A Black Proto-Punk Album

Hosted by: Ben Ede, College

Workshop description: This workshop taught college students and academics alike about punk music, and what it stands for, highlighting the concept that the punk subculture is constructed round self-actualization. It additionally explored how a lot of the favored music within the US stemmed from African American music throughout slavery, and the way we usually catergorize sure music as being “white” or “black”. Usually, “black” music made its strategy to England the place it was repackaged and despatched again to develop into in style amongst white individuals. One instance of this was the Beatles. Lastly, college students watched the documentary A Band Called Death – Before There Was Punk. A couple of black punk band who was forward of its time from the 1970’s, and their revolutionary music.

Workshop: The Guitar of Melanie Faye 

Hosted by: Ben Ede, College

Workshop description: College students on this workshop obtained to satisfy Hip Hop/RnB guitar beast Melanie Faye! College students had been taught the historical past of Black guitar music in addition to discovered in regards to the guitar work of Melanie Faye. Melanie confirmed college students the methods that she makes use of to play, shared her influences, and talked about how social media can be utilized to construct a profitable profession as a guitarist.

Highschool college students posing with guitar participant Melanie Faye.

Workshop: LA 2028: Olympics or NOlympics? 

Hosted by: Kristine Nakada, College

Workshop description: Is it doable to assist the Black Lives Matter motion and the Olympics? This workshop will take a quick have a look at the historical past of the Olympic and Paralympic Video games, exploring how athlete activists have used their platforms to combat for racial justice, all whereas elevated policing and displacement has affected communities of shade within the host cities. Contributors will be taught in regards to the 2028 Olympics slated to happen in our personal yard and discover its potential function in varied social actions.

Workshop lead Kristine Nakada asking members their ideas on the pictures on the display.

Workshop: Therapeutic: An Emphasis on Psychological Well being and Intergenerational Trauma

Hosted by: Adela Villalba, Pupil (twelfth grader)

Workshop description: Inside this workshop, members talked about intergenerational trauma and the way in which it reveals itself in BIPOC communities. Intergenerational trauma is actually the time period for the trauma that may be inflicted on a era and be carried by to future generations by the survivors’ emotional and psychological well-being (e.g. PTSD). Workshop hosts inspired members to have a look at the idea of Submit Traumatic Slave Syndrome. This idea, labored on by Dr. Pleasure Degruy, is just like however has key variations from PTSD.

twelfth grader Adela Villalba hosts her workshop on Psychological Well being and Intergenerational Trauma.

Worksop: Historical past of the police, police reform, and abolishing police.

Hosted by: Andrea Bizarro, Pupil (twelfth grader), and Omari Averette-Phillips, College

Workshop description: Whereas taking part on this workshop, we had been taught in regards to the connections between the police and racism, going again to the start of the police usually. Police brutality was introduced up and it was famous how POC are extra typically focused by these horrible assaults for extremely minor issues, and what the acquittals of those that perpetrated the horrible actions imply to the world. We additionally spoke in regards to the three issues that individuals say have to be achieved, both police reform, defunding the police, or abolishing it altogether, and the professionals and cons of every possibility.

Workshop: Anti-Racist Curriculum

Hosted by: Andrea Bizarro, Pupil (twelfth grader)

Workshop description: Workshop members discovered a few proposed Anti-Racist Curriculum created by Andrea in response to the Black Lives Matter motion. College students mentioned what makes a wholesome studying setting, offered suggestions on the curriculum, and located methods to include extra classes and actions into it. 

twelfth grader Andrea Bizarro hosts the info behind her proposed Anri-Racist curriculum.

To finish the day, Remali De Silva carried out her piece Excessive Faculty Celebrates 2nd Annual Range, Fairness, and Inclusion Day Just about to commemorate the Black lives misplaced to police brutality. A brief film with names of these whose lives had been taken performed within the again.

See beneath for Remali’s piece:

And he or she stated it greatest 

However like mud I rise. 

figuring out that we’re not simply names on an inventory 

Of tears cried

Hearts damaged 

And mom’s left with out their sons.

We’re wholeness and wonder 

Chameleons by and thru.

And it’s by no means what we expect

It’s plain within the eyes once I have a look at me and also you

Like mud I rise.

From the doubts and assumptions 

From the lies and aversions

Like glistening glittering 

Stunning black stars. 

We’re brilliant and I bear in mind your names on today and this month and for all the time 

You’ve paved the way in which.

For us to combat one other day 

We bear in mind you now

And retains your identify on our lips 

Forgiving means to me to always remember 

All of the names on these three slides 

By no means near the oppression or the ache

The lies and a few years and submersion  one black particular person after the subsequent 

Eager to erase us from the face of this earth 

However I do know deep in my coronary heart 

That we aren’t much less. 

If you flip your again there’s somebody chasing. 

Wanting in entrance there’s somebody working away. 

The figuring out gnawing feeling that your life isn’t yours.

It’s somebody’s recreation that others play.

And whereas I cry for souls and miss these I by no means knew 

I do know a day will come when love and kindness isn’t the trending comment

It’ll be one thing endlessly ingrained in our hearts.

However on this memorial we see your names and acknowledge the ache. 

We love and miss you and 

Want you 

Have been with us once more 

See beneath for video:

Memorial Video



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