Our Beginner’s Track Update(:

WOW! How time flies! We’re two months in and learning so much!

As you may (or may not) know this is Making Herstory’s second year in existence and we have a whole new batch of students participating in our beginner’s class. The following is a summary of our sessions thus far!

1st Session:
Our first session served as an introduction to what Making HerStory is all about! We played Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ as the students arrived and opened with ice breakers to learn everyone’s names! Our students amazed us with their ability to critically analyze the lyrics and images used. They picked up on cues that we didn’t even notice at first! After dissecting ‘Blurred Lines,’ we read and discussed Aya DeLeon’s spokenword poem, ‘If Women Ran Hip Hop’. We read the poem as a class, then watched a video of Aya performing it. Our students enjoyed how Aya uses whit and tone to tell stories through spokenword. Comparing these two pieces truly shows how powerful telling our stories can be!

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2nd Session:
We opened this session by defining privilege as “unearned benefits,” then asked the students to read “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” by Peggy McIntosh. In her essay, Peggy comes up with twenty-six unearned benefits (privileges) that she benefits from. We gave students a handful of candy and asked them to take a piece for each privilege they held according to Peggy’s list. Many of our students were surprised at how much privilege they actually posses. This session served to open us up to the ideas of privilege so that we can begin to delve deeper into its effect on our communities.

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3rd Session:
We introduced our beginners to the Third World Liberation Front and the topic of ‘ethnic studies’. We watched a brief documentary that depicted the combined efforts of students, teachers, and community members to keep ethnic studies programs alive and thriving. This opened us up to talking about our own ethnic backgrounds, how they influence our lives, and our desire to know more about them.

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4th Session:
We sent our students out into the library to grab some beauty magazines! Each of them brought back two magazines for our group to look at. As a group, we decided what words/phrases to look for in the magazines and divided the board into boxes to tally our results. Perhaps you can guess what we found? That’s right, an overwhelming amount of tallies focused on makeup, clothing, and unrealistic body ideals. After tallying things up and discussing the magazine’s intentions, we delved into how the contents made us feel/think. Our students used words like “powerful, hard, challenging, inspirational, and helpful” to describe this workshop. It also impacted our staff by allowing us to share our own experiences with unrealistic beauty ideals and connect with our phenomenally beautiful students on a more personal level.

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5th Session:
We did a short personal narrative workshop regarding our “trees of life”. This workshop consisted of seven parts beginning with the tree’s roots and working up to it’s blossoms, buds, and dead branches. Each part of the tree represents an area of our lives. For example: the blossoms/buds are our dreams for the future, while the dead branches are the things we’re trying to be free from/let go of. This self-exploration allowed our students to explore what makes them unique and drives them to achieve their dreams.

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Our students continue to awe us with their critical thinking skills, as well as their willingness to grow with us through this journey!

From this point forward we will be posting WEEKLY Making HerStory updates!!! Woot Woot!!

We pride ourselves on being a community-led, youth-driven, WOC organized youth empowerment organization! We are excited! We are powerful! We are learning! We are growing! Together we are Making HerStory!

Thank you for your support!

Much love!

– Making HerStory Team

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