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

Intersections: Words in Motion

October 02, 2016 by Bill Ivey

Words in motion evoke change when spoken. - Jasmin Roberts

Because Thursday was Mountain Day, Rock Band had the night off, and that meant I was free to join EduColor’s 7:30 Twitter chat on engaging and supporting families of colour. Being white, this meant both an opportunity to chime in when I felt I genuinely had something worth adding, and an even greater opportunity to listen in and learn from voices of colour. I knew that if I retweeted every tweet I loved, I’d flood my timeline. So I found myself favoriting left and right so people would know I was listening and they were being heard.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, social justice, equity, Education, Intersections

Intersections: Shining a Light

September 23, 2016 by Bill Ivey

A final entry as Ally Week 2016 winds down.

It’s been an eventful ally week, to say the least. Not so much on campus as off. Lots of opportunities for allyship. Lots of people stepping up.

One positive example followed VOYA (“Voices Of Youth Advocates”) magazine’s unaccountably biphobic and heterosexist review of Kody Keplinger’s book Run. Actually, the review was what one Twitterer referred to as “a hot mess” with not only biphobia and heterosexism but also ableism, slut shaming… the epitome of the privileged and judgmental viewpoint that doesn’t even see its own privilege talking. It ended with the admonition that, because one of the characters is openly and unapologetically bisexual, the book might not be appropriate for all young adult audiences. If you’re going to give a content warning at all, many people pointed out, wouldn’t the actual (heterosexual) sex be the logical choice rather than a simple affirmation of one’s orientation?

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, social justice, Education, Bisexuality, Intersections

Every Moment

July 09, 2016 by Bill Ivey

By all reports, he was a wonderful person, loved by the students in the school where he worked. He would smile at every child every day, and succeeded in making the cafeteria where he worked a happy space for them. One parent described him as “Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks” (Rafowicz, quoted in Lonetree) The J.J. Hill Montessori School PTO wrote, “Because you were a part of our community, we are better. / We will hold you and your family in peace and memoriam.”

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, social justice, real world issues, Education