Sutton High conference aims to bend arc toward justice – News – telegram.com


SUTTON – The issue with dwelling in the bubble of a Massachusetts suburb is that ultimately that bubble might burst.

“As soon as (students) depart that bubble, they’re out on the planet, and it’s arduous to catch on once you’re 18, 19,” stated Emma Hersom, a senior at Sutton High Faculty.

Sutton Excessive, nevertheless, is making an attempt to help its principally white scholar inhabitants grapple with and finally perceive actual-world issues like racism, gender inclusion and social justice earlier than they graduate. On Thursday, it pushed that campaign to the subsequent degree, internet hosting the varsity’s first Connections Conference, a daylong workshop on those subjects that drew college students and academics from greater than 30 faculties and particular presenters from throughout the country.

The brainchild of Sutton Excessive scholar Sophie Briggs, the event “is a superb fit with a few of the work we’re making an attempt to do,” stated the varsity’s principal, Ted McCarthy. “We feel strongly if we don’t speak to youngsters about these subjects, we’re not doing our jobs as educators or adults.”

After a keynote speech by writer and College of Georgia professor Bettina Love, the conference dispersed its several hundred attendees into 25 working teams led by school and faculty school members and college students. Those workshops explored themes like institutional racism, gender equality, microaggressions, activism and other social justice subjects.

One of many goals of the day, in accordance with Ms. Briggs, who stated she’s been “tremendous enthusiastic about social justice” her entire life, was to outline what it means to be an “ally” – a well-liked term for a person who isn’t just supportive of but actively involved in preventing for social justice.

“I hope (attendees) study something here,” she stated, adding she believes Sutton Excessive is consultant of her era’s embrace of social justice and activism. “I see it here at our college – we’re surrounded by individuals who need to converse up for his or her rights.”

But Sutton, along with a lot of the other suburban towns represented at Thursday’s convention, aren’t exactly places the place subjects like racism and privilege pop up on a regular basis, she and others at the occasion stated.

“In this city, we don’t have plenty of variety,” Ms. Briggs stated. “There are occasions I’ve watched issues occur, and thought, ‘We’ve got to show individuals what’s actually happening.’ “

“As white people, we’ve probably the most work to do,” Mr. McCarthy stated. “For those who’re not a part of an oppressed group … it’s straightforward not to consider (social justice issues).”

Ms. Love set the tone for the day’s discussions by delving into the origin of social justice in the oppression of African-People and their perseverance despite it.

“Civics isn’t just about voting, or protesting, or understanding something on an AP check – civics is about group,” she stated, and the African diaspora created “civic geniuses” who furthered their communities despite fixed opposition. “To do this work is to know our greatness … people who use every part for…



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