2022-2023 school year
July 5- Aug 10, 2023 Essential Photovoice with the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program - A team of NOCA CC trained in January 2023 through a grant by Essential Partners to facilitate the Essential Photovoice (EPV) process for a group of 10 CRLS teenagers. EPV asks participants to answer prompts with photos they take during the workshop (for example: “Share a photo that says something about who you are”). The participants then share their photos with each other, explaining their choices and leading to deeper conversations; the photos serve as a much more accessible and effective conversation starter than text prompts alone. The conversations themselves use the “Reflective Structured Dialogue” (RSD) protocol developed by Essential Partners, which creates a safe space allowing vulnerability and thoughtful conversation, and invites questions of curiosity. Guided by the dialogue, participants caption their photos and refine their choices, selecting photos to create a public photo exhibition. Members of the public and community leaders are invited to view the photos and captions, motivating dialogue with the viewers. See the culminating photo exhibition of their work and the process on the project's Instagram site. https://instagram.com/photovoice_cmb
April 1 and 3, 2023 - Community forum on FY24 School Budget proposal - These community forums are meetups of parent/caregivers and school staff to look closely at and discuss what budget impacts might look like at each school and to offer feedback to the district and School Committee about ways the budget can better address the needs of students and schools. Your specific perspective about your school is vital to this conversation! Let’s uplift each other’s voices and experiences. These events are co-sponsored by North Cambridge Courageous Conversations, Cambridge Families of Asian Descent and Cambridge Families of Color Coalition. Link to the budget proposal and pages of interest.
March 9, 2023 - Understanding Islam - Guest speaker Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid, the Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University spoke on on the basic pillars of Islam, the history of Islam and Muslims in America (especially within the African American and immigrant community), and common misconceptions about Islam, which was followed by Q&A. Resources:
All about Ramadan for Cambridge Educators (slides)
February 1, 2023 - CC Chats - How to be a disruptor - If you’ve ever felt tongue-tied when confronted with a racist or discriminatory remark, please come practice disrupting racism and discrimination through group work and (fully optional!) role play in a safe and collaborative environment. Please come prepared for active participation and brainstorming about how to make “good trouble” in our community! See the disrupter prompts and protocols we used here.
November 2, 2022 - Race in America (via Zoom) was a repeat of the November 2021 workshop with Spanish translation and a Spanish-speaking and school staff-specific breakout discussion rooms. The program was hosted with True to Life Conversations and Amigos Courageous Conversations.
2021-2022 School Year
November 19, 2021 - “Race in America” (via Zoom) a foundational workshop for those who are new to anti-racism and equity work or continuing their journeys. Examine how race and oppression invisibly shape every aspect of American society, from our jobs and healthcare to our neighborhoods and school communities. We watched two brief videos (Understanding Types of Oppression and Understanding Systemic Racism) to introduce a range of important concepts, and then formed small discussion groups (in mixed or racial affinity groups).
January 25, 2022 - "Social Identities" (via Zoom) workshop. This was part one of a workshop on social identities (e.g., how the groups you belong to identify you). We reflected on and discussed the facets of our identities to better understand how the world around us does or does not allow us to choose which pieces of our identity are most important. Please view responses to the reflection questions from the part 1 workshop here.
2020-2021 school year
November 19, 2020 - CC Chats (via Zoom) - An opportunity to work together to keep moving forward in talking to our kids about race, whether that means checking in on where you are or doing some role playing with breakouts by racial affinity (white, BIPOC, white caregiver of BIPOC children) and role (caregiver or teacher).
February 24, 2021 - CC Game Night (via Zoom) - A joyous celebration of Black achievements through Kahoot! online quizzes centered around celebrating Black contributions to our society. Afterwards, participants can bring the game home to play with children and spark conversations.
March 31, 2021 - "The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease" - A presentation of a study by two CPS educators for Building Equity Bridges, on opportunity hoarding, followed by reflection and discussion in small racial affinity groups (with separate groups for educators and parents/caregivers and questions tailored to each group).
May 19, 2021 - “Social Identities” is a community conversation about identity. This event will include a self-reflection activity, small group racial affinity spaces and a whole group discussion. What are the most important aspects of your identity? How does it feel when those around you do not let you choose what is an “important” part of your identity? Participants will reflect on and discuss the facets of their identity that are most important to them; get to know each other better; and express important parts of their identities that may otherwise not be known. You will also be asked to reflect on the value of your identity by considering which aspects are most and least important to you and why that may be. Learn to better understand how the world around you does or does not allow you to choose which pieces of your identity are most important.
2019-2020 School Year
Oct 30, 2019 - Building Equity Bridges (BEB): Sensemaking across the barriers (at RAUC)
Nov 13, 2019 - Exploring a subset of barriers and BEB research (expressing dreams of if barriers disappeared) at Baldwin School
Jan 22, 2020 - “White Fragility” book discussion at Peabody/RAUC Library
Feb 3, 2020 - “How to Talk to Kids About Race” by Wayside Youth & Family Support Network at Baldwin School
March 3, 2020 - An exploration of questions together as a community facilitated by Melody Brazo and Melinda Barbosa at Peabody School:
What is the difference between inclusion and belonging?
How can we become a community in which all students and families truly feel that they belong?
How does our racial identity shape our sense of belonging at school and in our community?
June 4, 2020 - Virtual session with speaker Arkie Tassew “On Privilege and Purpose in the times of COVID-19 and Racial Inequity” on Zoom
2018-2019 School Year
Facilitated by Julienne Smrcka
Hosted by Rindge Avenue Upper Campus
Session 1 (Jan. 22, 2019) - Introduction, biases in education, real estate, employment, and other domains
Session 2 (March 26, 2019) - Introduction to role play and the anti-voice
Session 3 (Apr 9, 2019) - Finishing and performing role play skits
Session 4 (Apr 23, 2019) - Socrates Cafe, delving into “What is an inclusive community?” through questioning
Session 5 (May 28, 2019) - Personal plans for micro and macro actions