Over the past year, we have all witnessed the mayhem that results from social injustice. Kent School has been dedicated to doing its part as an educational institution to provide students with an edification on equality, equity, and other forms of social justice. This year, starting on March 22, we will kick off Social Justice week, which involves an array of fun, educational programs and activities facilitated by students and faculty regarding racism, homophobia, misogyny, and other forms of social injustices.
We have the honor of having Janaya Khan, a social activist from Canada, as our keynote speaker this year. Black, queer, and gender-nonconforming, Khan is co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto and an international ambassador for the Black Lives Matter Network. There will be a Q & A section after the speech on March 23rd. Students are encouraged to ask questions and share their own views and experiences.
Aay-Janae Taylor, the Senior Prefect of 2021 and a sponsor of a workshop focusing on microaggressions, expresses her optimism that the workshops will “open the minds of Kent students and promote social equity.” Harry Song, who will facilitate a workshop on the AIDS epidemic and basic queer theory, hazards an explanation for the seeming “nerdiness” of his project: “People often think social justice as a social calling, non-academic, and often boring to those who aren’t interested. Nonetheless, my workshop will delve into the ads and literature portrayal of gay men during the Epidemic and introduce some basic psycho-analytical theories on homosexuality. Woo, psychoanalysis, sounds cool. Right?” Nicole Chan ‘21, whose workshop will be a close examination of “Crazy Rich Asians,” is super excited about “Henry Golding’s abs” as well as “the discussions on Asian stereotypes.”
Lexy Pryor ‘21 offers her thoughts on the overarching reason for these activities: “It’s just to get people involved, make them realize things are happening all around us, even at Kent. It’s to get them to care and to act.” And the best way and the starting point to do so, according to Mrs. Devonna Hall, involves education, empowerment, and passion, which is what the Social Justice Week is designed to do.