Intersections: Emerging

February 24, 2018 by Bill Ivey

“I am not a pretty girl. That is not what I… do.” - ani difranco

It’s 10 days after Parkland and, while some of the initial rawness has subsided, I know many teachers who are still having difficulty sleeping, having nightmares when they do get to sleep, crying on basically a daily basis. While one of my colleagues and I were discussing actions the kids here are resolving to take, she told me, choking back tears, “I just feel so helpless.” My office mate and I had a long conversation yesterday in which she pointed out she was so young when Columbine happened that she can’t remember a time when we didn’t have to worry about school shootings. She’s profoundly angry about that, and goodness knows I would be.

Filed Under: school shootings, gun violence, StudentVoice, Student Activism, Student support, Feminism, social justice, media, intersectionality, Intersections, Nevetheless she persisted

Intersections: 2018 Fenn School Multicultural Educators’ Forum, part two

February 21, 2018 by Bill Ivey

In writing up Sonia Nazario’s keynote speech for the Fenn School Multicultural Educators’ Forum, I deliberately left out a number of details in order to focus on the central story. While it makes a smoother narrative and hopefully helps focus on the power of her story, it neglects some important facts and details she deliberately and skillfully wove in. Among them:

Filed Under: diversity, Professional development, social justice, Feminism, anti-racism, Sonia Nazario

Intersections: The Power of Story

February 20, 2018 by Bill Ivey

Sonia Nazario began her powerful keynote speech for the Fenn School Multicultural Educators’ Forum by telling her own story. Born in the U.S., the daughter of immigrants, her parents’ home of Argentina was at the time a place where simply possessing and/or sharing knowledge (especially the truth about what was happening in the country) was seen by the government as so dangerous it could get you killed. She grew up being told she was the “dumb jock” in the family and, being the only brown kid in her school, was not counseled to go to college. She nonetheless enrolled at Williams College, where it was quite hard for her at the start. But her immigrant determination served her well, as it has helped our country, and she eventually realized the other students were not smarter than her, they were simply better prepared.

Filed Under: social justice, media, Story, Sonia Nazario, Immigration, Enrique's Journey

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The American Dream”

January 15, 2018 by Bill Ivey

Selection from a speech delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on July 4, 1965, two years after his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Filed Under: Martin Luther King Day, Martin Luther King Jr, anti-racism, social justice

Intersections: Still Here

November 25, 2017 by Bill Ivey

I know we in the U.S. pride ourselves on our small town pride, but I still feel my town is extra special. When I tell people I live in Shelburne Falls, if they’re heard of it (and that’s more common than one might expect for a village of roughly 1700 people), they almost always tell me about an idyllic visit they once had to “such a beautiful town.” Though by no means as gifted a photographer as many of my friends and relations, I periodically post pictures of my home town, and they often draw a positive reaction.

Filed Under: Intersections, Thanksgiving, social justice, sandy hook

Intersections: Beyond the Fear

October 10, 2017 by Bill Ivey

A few weeks ago, Nola-Rae Cronan of the Columbus School of Girls sent out an email that began:

I hope this finds you well. In honor of the International Day of the Girl, my students will be hosting several Hangouts to connect girls around the world. The conversations will be self-directed by the students who attend, with student facilitators. We hope to provide an opportunity to unite girls across borders on the ways we are similar and bring us closer together by celebrating our differences.

Filed Under: Intersections, International Day of the Girl, Feminism, social justice, equity, Courage

Intersections: Dress Codes and Ethics

September 19, 2017 by Bill Ivey

I understand that in our society, how we dress is linked to respect. Though I love wearing gym shorts and a tank top, there are certainly occasions where I wouldn’t do so.

Filed Under: Intersections, Feminism, dress code, feminist dress code, feminist school, social justice

Soaring beyond what we even imagine is possible

September 12, 2017 by Sally Mixsell

Good morning, everyone, and welcome officially to the 2017-2018 academic year. I loved hearing about each one of you students last night and would like to take a moment to thank, especially, the senior class for getting us off to such a happy start! You, seniors, have set the tone for a spectacular year. Thank you.

Filed Under: Thoughts from the Head of School, Convocation, social justice, Best self

Making This Place Beautiful

September 11, 2017 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

Invocation delivered at Convocation by Shayna Appel '78

The legendary poet, writer, playwright and social activist James Baldwin once wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Filed Under: Convocation, Alumnae, social justice, anti-racism, LGBT Support, diversity, inclusion

Intersections: Love, Grace, and Vision

August 17, 2017 by Bill Ivey

(title courtesy of Nancy Flanagan)

During the early summer heat wave in Europe, stories were turning up all over the Internet about boys wearing skirts to school and men wearing dresses to work. Jake Steward (our English Department Chair) sent me an email one day with a link to an article I hadn’t yet seen (though it began to crop up increasingly frequently), “ Teenage Boys Turn Up at Devon School Dressed in Skirts.” At one level, these boys may not have made that choice if (in order of ease of remedy) a) their schools had a dress code that permitted boys to wear shorts, b) their schools had air-conditioning, and/or c) climate change wasn’t contributing to ever more extreme weather patterns. But at another level, there was fairly rapid and widespread buy-in to the skirt protest. I’m honestly not sure that would have been true just five years ago, no matter what the weather.

Filed Under: Intersections, social justice, Feminism, Girls Schools, Boys Schools, single-gender schools, single-sex schools, LGBT Support