CPS Day: Black Lives Matter: An Intersectional & Institutional Movement

Congratulations to the Student Equity Action Team for a thoughtful and engaging Connection, Pride, and Spirit (CPS) Day! Connections, Pride, and Spirit Day is an annual event for the entire College Prep community to come together and learn about a common topic centered around equity and inclusion. CPS day is organized by the Student Equity Action Team and the Office of Equity and Inclusion. 

Student leaders chose this year's theme: Black Lives Matter: An Intersectional & Institutional Movement. Our students believe that this movement is crucial and necessary to highlight and incorporate into our community—continued education, learning, and healing are necessary—in the everlasting fight for equity. They chose two words to explain the BLM Movement: intersectional and institutional. The term “intersectional,” coined by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw highlights the multiple identities people can have and how they are not separate from each other. And, “institutional,” because White Supremacy is ingrained in the bedrock of the United States and we must work to change its systemic presence.  
Anti-blackness, Systemic Racism, and the Carceral State
We are presenting on the systemic racism against Black and Brown people that exists in the carceral state. In this workshop, we will educate and then lead discussion, talking about racially biased policing and unjust sentences and presenting abolition as a possible solution.

Asian American Activism in the Wake of Black Lives Matter
We will discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and the intersection with Asian American activism, especially how the minority communities interact (historically and currently) and work together.

Meet the Black Scientists, Artists, and Activists Leading the Climate Justice Movement 
Many in the U.S. have heard of Greta Thunberg, but how many of us have heard of Colette Pinchon Battle? Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson? How about Isra Hirsi (you may have heard of her mother, Representative Ilhan Omar)? Many of these activists and experts sit at the intersection of race, gender, religion, and the environmensal movement. One thing they all have in common? They have always been at the forefront of fighting for climate justice. In this workshop, we will learn about some of the crucial work that Black scientists, artists, and activists have contributed to the environmental movement. We will focus our discussion around the disproportionate effect of different environmental issues on Black communities, why the achievements of Black environmentalists have been and continue to be under-recognized, and what we can do to support the efforts of these leaders to create a truly just transition towards a sustainable future.

Sports, Activism, and Capitalism: Black Lives Matter
Our workshop, which we ran last year, spends about half of its time giving a history of how sports and activism have intersected in American history. The focus of both halves will be the use of sport as a stage for athletes to call attention to inequality in American society, with the second half focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement, especially on Colin Kaepernick's kneeling and the events of summer 2020. There will be a fair amount of discussion as well. 

The Intersection Between Human Trafficking and Black Lives Matter
In this workshop, we'll discuss human trafficking and how the Black Lives Matter movement intersects with this issue, delving into police involvement when called to look into possible instances of human trafficking and the racial divide between victims of human trafficking. Finally, we will talk about what we can do to make a difference within these two intersecting issues.

Black Lives Matter: Voter Suppression
We will talk about voter suppression, a brief history, and its role in the most recent election. 

Tools for Talking about Race 
We plan to share tools for having challenging conversations about race and provide a space to practice using these tools, allowing participants to meet  their goals regarding cultural competence. This space is for anyone who feels uncomfortable talking about race and is willing to challenge themselves to participate in these conversations. We, the facilitators, find value in struggling together to better understand how to have effective conversations. We plan to go over positive engagement strategies, nonviolent communication strategies, vocabulary, big ideas about race and types of conversations about race. We’ll end with a discussion.

Harlem Renaissance: Intersectionality with Gender
In this workshop, you will explore the influence of gender on literature during the Harlem Renaissance through listening and discussing “Black is beautiful” by Zoe Brickley, “Black feminism” by Simone Nelson and Thea DeSchepper, and “Queer Harlem Renaissance Writers” by Adya Gupta, Ava Kennerly, Dahlia Pollack, and Julian Esler.

The Danger of a Single Story 
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. This workshop will watch her TED talk and then discuss and write about any one of the following prompts:

-- A time you limited someone to a single story

-- A time you felt like you were being limited by a single story

-- A story you would want someone to know about you

Mass Incarceration and "The New Jim Crow"
Building on the argument and evidence from Michele Alexander's "The New Jim Crow," we will describe how the 13th Amendment and racist policies combined to extend some of the worst aspects of American slavery well into the 21st century.

The Dharma of Black Lives Matter: Socially Engaged Buddhism and Anti-Racism in Oakland
This workshop is an introduction to how socially engaged Buddhism and secular mindfulness practices intersect with anti-racism and restorative justice. During our time together, we will explore the teachings (Dharma) of Black and POC Buddhist leaders who are grounding mindfulness practices in the lived reality of our interdependence and commitment to support each other in getting free. We'll learn about Oakland efforts to create a diverse Sangha (spiritual community) and enact practices of radical inclusivity in registration policies and programming at East Bay Meditation Center. And we will take time to practice meditation in community as we reflect on why Black Lives Matter to all of us.

Harlem Renaissance: Intersectionality of Literature with Art 
In this workshop, you will explore the influence of art on literature during the Harlem Renaissance through listening and discussing “Jazz and Jazz poetry” by Sophia Gomez, “Hughes and Lamar” by Aaron Davis, and “Afrofuturism” by Anika Brown and Cole Durschinger.


Special thank you to guest speaker, Dr. Jackson Leftwich, who is an Associate Professor at Youngstown State University and focuses on Women and Gender Studies, Public Policy Making, and Cultural Competence. And to the Keynote Speaker, Carlos Carter,  a motivational speaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Robert Morris University with an MBA. He was senior vice president at Bank of America, and now works as a motivational speaker and nonprofit and community leader at seeds2fruit motivation.

The College Preparatory School

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right