Professional Development: STAND UP! Symposium

April 12, 2017 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

English Language teacher Charlotte Hogan and French teacher Miriam Przybyla-Baum attended the STAND UP! Symposium at Phillips Academy Andover on Thursday, April 16.

Symposium Description:

From 1960s lunch counter sit-ins to recent movements at the University of Missouri, student activism has long sparked institutional change in American high schools, colleges and universities. And yet, independent schools have often been considered sites of privilege. How might these schools’ policies and histories engage or hinder student activism in equity and inclusion?”

Filed Under: anti-racism, Professional development, inclusion

Intersections: Supporting our kids in a time of increasing intolerance

March 28, 2017 by Bill Ivey

Since the rescinding of Obama-era guidance extending Title IX protections against discrimination to transgender and gender non-conforming children, there has been an outpouring of support for LGBTQ+ kids. TransLifeline saw their website crash under the weight of donations pouring in, multiple organizations have shared ways to protect, support, and reassure transgender and gender non-conforming children, and governors, other elected representatives, parents, and citizens have shared their own words of support and comfort.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, Feminism, Intersections, identity, Supporting Jewish people, Courage

Intersections: Not My Kids, You Don't

February 08, 2017 by Bill Ivey

You all probably know the poem,

  • “First they came for [group of people] and I did not speak out, because I was not [part of that group of people]...
  • then they came for…
  • (...)
  • and then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, diversity, Feminism, feminist school, Intersections

On the Right Track

February 01, 2017 by Bill Ivey
  • The general public has viewed her sports as lesser; his sports are more widely regarded and compensated than hers.
  • Media has favored his sports over hers.

From the updated “Declaration of Sentiments” written by the Humanities 7 class along with girls from Bancroft School, Center School, Eaglebrook School, Four Rivers Charter Public School, Hampshire Regional School, and Hilltop Montessori School.


I often feel like I have to apologize for being a fan of the UConn women’s basketball team. They’ve won four straight NCAA Division-I championships, their current win streak (which broke their own record of 90) stands at 95, and their average margin of victory is in the double digits. Other than the UCLA men’s basketball team of the John Wooden era, no program that I can think of has dominated a college sport to this extent. So some baggage comes with identifying as a UConn fan, especially if you didn’t actually go there.

Filed Under: women in sports, Sports, anti-racism, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Feminism, Women in media, Intersections

Choice vs. Chance

January 28, 2017 by Guest Student Author

by Micah (To'Londa) Torres '18. Performed in housemeeting on Martin Luther King Day. The quote that inspired it is included at the end.

Filed Under: Poetry, anti-racism, racism, Black Lives Matter

Intersections: Acknowledging Difference

January 05, 2017 by Bill Ivey
"Inquiry is always a form of intervention." - Dr. Derrick Gay

The thing about group learning is, what each individual person in the group learns is somehow - perhaps subtly, perhaps in a major way - different from what every other individual person in the group learns. That’s a function in part of everyone having an absolutely unique set of life experiences out of which we are making meaning in the world. And that’s perhaps especially true with diversity work, which makes managing an in-service day for an entire faculty (already a daunting task) especially tricky. Yet, I went into Tuesday’s session with high hopes; Dr. Derrick Gay had given the faculty and staff a survey the results of which he planned to use to organize and frame the day, and I knew enough of his work (I follow him on Twitter) to be confident the day would be productive. And it was.

Filed Under: anti-racism, diversity, Intersections, inclusion, identity

Intersections: Vigil for Racial Justice

December 10, 2016 by Bill Ivey

I will be out of town on Saturday morning Dec. 10 and unable to attend the weekly Vigil for Racial Justice. But I stand nonetheless in support of our student who was twice subjected to racial harassment last weekend in our town, and in support of all our students of colour. I stand alongside others from our school who feel the same way. And I share here, scheduled to post the moment the Vigil starts, the poster I made for the first morning I attended.

Filed Under: intersectionality, anti-racism, social justice, Feminism, Intersections, racial justice

Intersections: For the Long Haul

December 05, 2016 by Bill Ivey
Since the week before the election, I’ve been attending the Vigil for Racial Justice in downtown Greenfield when I can. I first went with students and on our way back, we all agreed the school should offer it as a weekly activity - which we have been doing. Each time I’ve been there, it’s been a quite pleasant experience. Most people who passed by either ignored us, smiled, or honked supportively. I did have a conversation with one citizen on my way there one morning; he saw my poster and looked me in the eye and said, “All lives matter. All .” I smiled at him and cheerfully said, “I couldn’t agree more.” Because, to the founders of the movement, and to me, that is the fundamental message of the slogan “Black Lives Matter”  - in a country infused with and shaped by racism from its earliest days, all lives, including Black lives , matter equally. And that was as close as I had come to having a negative experience.

Filed Under: intersectionality, anti-racism, social justice, Feminism, Anti-Bullying, Intersections

Intersections: Feminist Affirmation

November 15, 2016 by Bill Ivey

This past Saturday, at a memorial service for a college friend, I shared stories of her ability to stand up for herself “with just the right touch of defiance,” of her deep seated insistence on being her own authentic self, of her feminist affirmation of women.

During the all-school meeting last Friday in which we held an open discussion about the range of thoughts and feelings following the election, one of our students shared her belief that women as a whole need to believe in themselves and their gender more strongly than they now do. After the meeting, I came across this quote (abridged here) shared on Gloria Steinem's Facebook page: “So while I do not pray for anybody or any party to commit outrages, still I do pray, and that earnestly and constantly, for some terrific shock to startle the women of this nation into a self-respect which will... give them the courage and conscience to speak and act for their own freedom, though they face the scorn and contempt of all the world for doing it.” I shared it with that student, wanting her to know not only that her voice had been heard but also that she had echoed the thoughts of a feminist icon.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, social justice, Feminism, feminist school, Intersections

Intersections: Deciding to Rise

November 02, 2016 by Bill Ivey

When I was a girl, I had parents who loved me and believed in me, but those doubts still worked their way inside my head and my heart, and I was always worried about something. Does my hair look right? Am I too tall? Do I raise my hand too much in class? So when folks said that a girl like me shouldn’t aspire to go to the very best colleges in this country I thought, "Maybe they’re right." But eventually I learned that each of those doubts were like a little test, a challenge, that either I could shrink away from or rise up to meet and I decided to rise. - Michelle Obama, quoted by AISNE Assistant Director Bonnie Ricci at the AISNE Diversity Conference on November 1, 2016

It wasn’t particularly easy waking up at 4:45 in the morning to head out to the 2016 AISNE Diversity Conference. But it was well worth it, and not just for the chance to connect with familiar faces from other schools I don’t see often enough.

Ralph Wales, Head of Gordon School, welcomed us, asking the question, “What would happen if we were to start a school today?” He talked about aligning the power pyramid with our work in support of it, of the force and power we have to do right by all children, and of the concept of “pushing subversion.” Speaking as a person whose mood indicator has been stuck on subversive for several years, I can support that. The question, of course, is what to subvert, and how.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, social justice, diversity, Feminism, Education, Intersections, inclusion