Unity Day @FVSofColorado with @eddieknowsmoore #redsandproject #dreamflags
On Wednesday, January 27th, 2016, Fountain Valley School created and participated in an amazing day named Unity Day. The day started for staff at 8:00 am with a “White Privilege” session led by Dr. Eddie Moore. Dr. Moore was energetic and brilliant with his words. He discussed how he had not grown up with diversity skills, he had grown up with segregation skills. Dr. Moore explained that 2+2 doesn’t always equal 4. Dr. Moore grew up in a very segregated neighborhood in Florida where his Southern Baptist Church was a big part of his life. When he went to college in Iowa, he thought church would be his common experience. But does church always equal church. 2+2=8/2. 2+2 = 3+1. We all have different experiences. We need to Understand, Respect, and Connect. The biggest changes need to be made by understanding how systems, organizations and institutions work. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,” stated by Anais Nin. Dr. Moore suggested reading “Lies My Teacher Told Me” and “The White Racial Frame” and watching the movie “American Promise.”
The day began for the students with an introductory by Dr. Moore at All School. Students chose three sessions to attend from the following list: Racism in Soccer; Irish Dance; Pueblo: It’s not Mordor; Springs and Swirls; Relaxing Life in Tea House; Water Polo Through the London Eye; Hillary, Donald and Ted–Oh My!; Myth, Me, and We; Rugby Around the World; Holi- The Indian Festival of Color; Japanese Experience; Arabic and Living in Arabia; Transgender Rights; Special Needs Awareness; White Privilege; The Red Sand Project; It’s Not Just Black and White; and Brought Up Bilingual. The sessions were created and present primarily by students. We had a few presented by teachers and one presented by an alumni.
I was fortunate to assist with the alumni presented one. Molly Gochman ’96 is an artist in New York who started the Red Sand Project (#redsandproject). Molly Gochman started learning about Human Trafficking and wanted to do something about it. She started using red sand to fill in the tracks in sidewalks to represent the humans that fell through the cracks. Last week she got requests for over 50,000 bags of sand for others to partake in the social justice statement. Our students participating in the sessions were able to find a space to add their red sand into cracks around school.
The next session I attended was Springs & Swirls which was about the labels associated with Manitou Springs and learning about the history of the town. The last session I attended was Transgender Rights. The students presenting were thorough in their knowledge and open for questions and discussions. We ended an All School with Eddie challenging us to keep our minds open to diversity. The advisory groups then met to reflect on the day. During reflection students were asked to create a Dream Flag displaying what their dreams of the world would be. The project is based on the poetry of Langston Hughes and the prayer flags of Tibet. The flags are currently hanging in different areas of our campus. Unity Day was featured on the front page of the Gazette and featured on Fox 21 News.