Students Learn About Privilege and Identity During CARE Week

By Natalie Hiatt, Staff Writer

// Acalanes High School students participated in Compassion, Acceptance, Respect, and Equity (CARE) Week to facilitate discussions about equity on campus during the week of Feb. 22 to Feb. 25.

   Throughout the week, students attended CARE workshops in their fourth-period class during Academy. Each year, these workshops focus on a specific theme to teach students about equity. During this year’s workshop, students learned how privilege affects their lives, and how aspects of their identities, such as religion, race, and gender, can contribute to which privileges they have. These workshops aimed to show students certain aspects of identity that they may not have thought about otherwise.

   “I learned that there [are] a lot more nuanced things about privilege that I never really had to think about before. It also made me notice some things that are a privilege that I don’t have, that I have not thought about because I’ve never faced a situation where I’ve had a notably bad experience,” CARE leader and junior Joy Baker said.

   Students who signed up and took training courses during mornings and academies prior to CARE Week led these workshops.

   “I really liked being a part of CARE Week and presenting to classes because I learned a lot, and I got to teach other students about why learning about privilege is important,” CARE leader and junior Charlotte McKenzie said.

   Many students note the value of hearing about these topics from peers rather than teachers.

   “Students are more inclined to discuss with student leaders rather than teacher leaders… because they feel more comfortable,” Baker said.

   In addition to learning definitions about identity and privilege, students watched a short video of their peers speaking about their own experiences with privilege.

   “The video that was shown of Acalanes students was especially valuable because it showed that we, as a community, are not better than the world… It really localized the issue at hand and made the issue of privilege go from being something we had to learn about to being something that people in our community face,” Baker said.

   In addition to these in-class workshops, Acalanes Leadership’s Diversity Board hosted numerous events during lunch throughout the week. On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Asian Student Union hosted a Kahoot about Asian trivia. On Wednesday, Feb. 23, the Jewish Student Union hosted a challah bake and anti-Semitism discussion. The final event occurred on Friday, Feb. 25, with Latinos Unidos Club holding a joint discussion with the Black Student Union about Afro-Latinos.

   Regardless of whether they only attended the workshop or explored the additional events, many students recognize the benefits of hosting CARE Week to discuss equity throughout the community.

   “CARE Week is a good way to start the conversion and get the students who are passionate thinking about how they want to proceed in making our community better and making themselves better. CARE Week makes some students think about themselves and issues in our world and community,” Baker said.

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