During the first week back from winter break, the Health & Wellness Committee hosted student and parent presentations on racial identity development with Dr. Holly Hinderlie and Jessy Molina. These presentations built upon a trimester dedicated to developmentally appropriate Forum curriculum focused on helping students develop the skills and understanding to navigate challenging and important conversations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement for racial justice and equity, and the recent presidential election in the United States.
Hinderlie and Molina asked students and parents to engage in an activity called “Circle of my Multicultural Self” that asked the participants to write down their personal identifiers. In small groups, participants shared a story about times they felt particularly proud or found it difficult to be associated with one of their identifiers. From here, the presenters discussed how we are all racialized beings and that our racial identity development journeys are individualized. Hinderlie and Molina also explained the difference between implicit and explicit bias, impact vs. intent of microaggressions and provided action steps on how to interrupt microaggressions. The presentations encouraged the participants to continue developing their racial identities by making sure windows and mirrors are present, building capacity to talk about race and identity, take advantage of opportunities to talk about race, and align racial justice values with action. Forum facilitators and Peer Educators continued this discussion in their classes.
Throughout Trimester I, the Forum facilitators utilized the Anti-defamation League’s Confronting Bias, Working Toward Equity curriculum as a framework to teach anti-bias and anti-racist concepts in order to create safe, inclusive and equitable classrooms. A major concept the students engaged in was understanding and reflecting on various aspects of their identity.
If you would like to learn more about the topics covered during Trimester I, please see the Health & Wellness Downloads on the Dana Hall website. We will continue using an anti-racist lens as we progress through the Forum curriculum in Trimester II and III with our indispensable social, emotional learning curriculum.
"My favorite Dana Hall memory would be the first time I ever sang the Alma Mater with my fellow classmates. That was most definitely the first time I felt like I was truly a part of something. Joining hands with my future Silver Sisters made me truly feel like I was a Dana girl."