All-School Identity Time Activity

Students of all grades participated in an All-School Identity time on Tuesday, May 9. Students had the opportunity to engage across all grade levels in both the All-School class activity and affinity groups, alongside faculty who share those identities. The goal for the event was to help younger students see themselves in the models of older students and empower older students to be leaders and have conversations around identity with diverse constituencies.
Each Upper School class was paired with a Lower School class, and they began the activity by reading Skin Again by bell hooks. It’s a story about the differences of people in their characteristics and realizing the importance of looking beyond these physical differences and understanding them from within. After reading Skin Again, students picked out a piece of paper that best matched their skin color and traced their hand on the paper. After cutting out the tracing of their hand, students illustrated their cutout with aspects of their identity. 

After the full-class activity, the students travelled to affinity group spaces where they met other Cathedral students from different grades and adults who shared similar racial/ethnic or religious backgrounds. Everyone began this time together by getting to know one another through an interactive BINGO game. After feeling more comfortable, each affinity group had discussions that explored the challenges and triumphs that they face in being who they are, especially at school. An example of a conversation prompt that the students reflected on was "I wish my peers knew ___about my identity."  Additionally, students and teachers who occupy a space of racial privilege had conversations about how to be supportive to their peers. We ended the day by indulging in a snack of cookies while being in the affinity space.
Thank you to the Equity and Engagement Committee for their amazing work putting this project together. View photos of the activity in the right-hand column.
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