Peer Multicultural Education
The purpose of this organization shall be to educate the IMSA community. The Peer Multicultural Educators (PME) strive to promote equity, celebration of cultural and personal identity, and respectful and open-minded discourse in order to improve the social condition of the IMSA community. Their flagship program is Courageous Conversations, utilizing Glenn Singleton’s Four Agreements of Courageous Conversations. This series allows students to engage with divisive problems and issues. The goal is to present students with a forum once a quarter wherein they could discuss and dissect these problems and issues, focusing on value-oriented critical thinking rather than pure emotional response or unreasoned invective. In other words, instead of focusing on speaking about these topics only in terms of liberal versus conservative points of view, political identity, or “the culture wars,” to focus on identifying the core values that lead to certain arguments and points of view. Through rationale discourse and empathy together, students understand what makes these issues so complex, and by that, means arrive at a more reasoned discourse about them. Some topics include: Affirmative Action (applying for college), How faculty views students (race, gender, sexual orientation), trigger words for “you”, cultural appropriation, man-xplaining/white-xplaining, and mental health.
The BHSC Experience is a proactive, intentional and ongoing approach to foster and nurture a safe, affirming and responsive environment and organizational culture where Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse (CLED) students feel they have value, the opportunity to contribute their best work and the ability to realize their full potential. The BHSC Experience allows students an opportunity to share their lived experiences, learn about the history and current system of oppression in America, develop relational leadership skills/stereotype management to confront related issues, engage in mindfulness and positive self-identity activities to develop confidence, grit and resilience, as well as have access to educational resources such as tutors and mentors.
IMSA juniors engage in a 3-hour film and discussion, I’m Not Racist… Am I?. This is a feature documentary about how to confront racism. Twelve teenagers from New York City come together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members. The hope is that by documenting their experience, the film will inspire others to recognize and interrupt racism in their own lives. The film is part of a larger initiative – Deconstructing Race – developed by The Calhoun School to create a multimedia platform to get young people, their teachers and their families talking – and doing something – about structural systemic racism.
Gender and Sexual Orientation Education
IMSA seniors engage in a 3-hour Gender and Sexual Orientation Diversity Education Workshop utilizing the Safe Zone Project curriculum, a proactive step that schools are taking to create welcoming, inclusive spaces so that all people are empowered to reach their full potential. Being that we live in an ever-diversifying society, and in order to be supportive and aware of different identities and experiences, this is a wonderful opportunity to talk, learn and ask questions about sexual orientation and gender in a non-judgmental, safe and educational environment. The goal of this program is to increase the awareness, knowledge, and skills for individuals and address the challenges that exist when one wants to advocate for their LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual)+ peers, family members, friends, and for themselves.