CARE Week Lunchtime Dialogues Prompt Important Discussions

By Hannah Geraghty and Zinnia Khan, Staff Writers

// During the week of Oct. 31, Acalanes students participated in CARE Week through engaging in student-run academy sessions and lunchtime dialogues, designed to educate students and staff on important issues. 

    CARE stands for Compassion, Acceptance, Respect and Equity. Each year, the discussions center around a specific theme. This year’s theme was the impact of language on gender. The meetings encouraged students to engage in conversations about how the words they use can harm other students’ general perception of their identity. 

   “I think something for me that was really important is just [getting] people to understand the damage sexist language really has because I think that people don’t realize when they [are using] harmful language around gender,” Diversity Board co-head, Feminism Club Co-President, and senior Sophia Acuff said.

   In addition to the in-class discussions, students were able to attend lunchtime conversations hosted by various student-run equity clubs on campus. 

   On Monday, the Queer Student Alliance hosted a discussion and Kahoot. The topic of the meeting was reclaiming homophobic and transphobic language, and took place in room 303.

   On Tuesday, Latinos Unidos hosted a Kahoot in room 507. The discussion centered around intersectionality between the Latino and LGBTQ+ communities. 

   On Wednesday, the Jewish Students Union (JSU) and Middle Eastern Student Union held a joint discussion about Israel and University of California, Berkeley in room 314.

   On Thursday, the Feminism Club hosted a dialogue about eurocentric and patriarchal beauty standards in the drama room.

   On Friday, the Black Student Union (BSU) presented in room 507 about the history of ties between Blackness and Sexuality. 

   Club leaders intended for their meetings to raise awareness on how they can make a difference in the community.  

   “We hope school-wide discussions offer a chance to educate and inspire students who want to make change. I don’t think any change can be made without aware allies that are prepared to further equity initiatives,” BSU President and senior Ava Freeman said. 

    One recurring theme that club leaders presented to students was the idea of intersectionality. Intersectionality refers to how different parts of someone’s identity overlap to create a more complex system of privilege and discrimination. 

    “I hope our CARE event taught students more about how intersectionality shapes our unique identities,” Freeman said. 

   Any member of the student body who wanted to attend could show up to the dialogues. Equity clubs collaborated with the Leadership’s Diversity Board to run the events. 

   “It’s been great to watch [the clubs] take ownership and have leadership help,” Leadership teacher Katherine Walton said.

   Many students found that the lunchtime meetings were educational, and raised awareness about important topics.

   “I feel like just those kinds of lunch events are important for people to learn about because they’re big takeaways in [our] society that we need to learn about,” Feminism Club member and sophomore Charlotte Sutherland said. 

   Overall, the goal of CARE Week was to educate Acalanes students about societal problems and to foster important conversations in the student body. 

   “We want to make sure that everyone is on the same page so we as a community can take more steps forwards in the right direction,” Diversity Board member, JSU President, and junior Gardner said.

Graphic by Gabi Gruber, Online Editor-In-Chief

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