Diversity Day at BFA Fairfax High School

On April 12th, high school students at BFA took a day off from their regular studies to participate in Diversity Day. The day was planned by students in Peer Support and Student Council, with a lot of help from our Support Counselor, Paul Chapman.

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The goal of the day was to expose students to variety of topics representing diverse cultures and situations. It is our hope that this exposure would lead to new understandings about the difference in people, as well as the simple fact that, in spite of our differences, we are all essentially the same.

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“You don’t really know anything about anyone until they tell you. So prejudice doesn’t make any sense” -Evan L

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Students pre-selected three workshops from a list of 12 that included Cycles of Violence,  Supporting Queer Youth, Privilege & Accountability: Becoming An Ally, Stereotype Workshop, Understanding Addiction, Understanding Mental Health Problems In Youth, Understanding Gender, What Does it Mean to be a Man or Woman in our Society, Healthy Relationships and Gender, Understanding Learning Disabilities, Being a Man in the 21st Century, and Religious Tolerance. These workshops were conducted by outside agencies, volunteers and BFA staff members.

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“It was a wonderful opportunity and I was grateful our organization was included. I applaud BFA for hosting Diversity Day as a part of this ongoing work and I say bravo for the efforts made.”-Rachel Siegel Executive Director, Peace and Justice Center

The day began with a keynote speech from Ebony Nyoni from the Peace and Justice Center, followed by a presentation on White Fragility.

“It was very inspirational. It got us thinking about hard topics to talk about.” -Cheyenne T

Students then attended their three workshops and had lunch.

“We had lots of great conversations throughout the day. I am glad we had this day.”- Abi T

The students gathered again in the gym for some closing thoughts from Student Council president Alex H and the unveiling of BFA’s Value Tree. Students were asked to use sticky notes to record the things they value about each other, our school and our community. The banner will be displayed as a reminder of the day.

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Student’s concluded the day in their Support Blocks with the chance to reflect and discuss their learning for the day.

“When I debriefed my Support Block kids at the end of the day I knew I found them reflective, engaged, moved. They wanted to talk and talk and talk.” -Fred Griffin, teacher

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Diversity Day was a single event organized for  a single day. Teachers will continue these conversations with the students in their classes as they always have. Today served to sharpen our focus.

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“It was a good opportunity to share awareness and get the discussion started. Overall, it was a success.”-Alex H

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