Social justice workshops open discussions about community issues

During+Social+Justice+Week%2C+students+learned+about+issues+ranging+from+gender+equality+to+climate+change.+In+%22Refugee+Journeys%2C%22+attendees+learned+about+the+complications+refugees+may+face+and+explored+a+simulation+of+a+Syrian+refugee%27s+journey.+

BBC

During Social Justice Week, students learned about issues ranging from gender equality to climate change. In “Refugee Journeys,” attendees learned about the complications refugees may face and explored a simulation of a Syrian refugee’s journey.

Audrey Park, Reporter

Social Justice Week took place April 21 where students learned about a number of relevant issues existing in the community and world today. 

They had previously requested their top workshop choices from a series of 22 topics ranging from learning about implicit bias in STEM to body positivity. 

One of the co-leaders of the Social Justice Committee, Natalie Hultquist, said that many more people participated in workshops this year compared to last year.

“It was difficult during the beginning of quarantine to reach out to people and keep them engaged,” she said. “This year, I heard of plenty of students attending their workshops and saw turnout was high.”

New this year were debrief sessions held after the workshops, which allowed students to process their experiences in paired advisory groups. 

“From what I heard from the advisory debriefs, there was an overall positive response to the workshops,” Natalie said. 

Junior Maya Mubayi, who attended the implicit bias in STEM workshop, said that the experience was how she imagined it to be.

“Now that we have been doing online learning for a while, I felt as though the amount of participation was as expected,” she said. “The workshops themselves were very informative, and I had a positive experience overall.”

For others, the workshops were different from what they had anticipated.

“I wasn’t expecting the workshop to create such an open and vulnerable environment. I was surprised that we were able to critique the body positivity movement,” sophomore Sara Charles Waterstraat, who attended the body positivity workshop, said. “I think it helped me understand how to better support myself and others in regards to body image and it motivated me to be kinder to myself.” 

Ninth grader Sophia Shahul thought the workshops were interesting and well executed. 

She said, “The overall experience was much better than my expectations. I thought it was going to be boring, but it was actually really well done.”