power, identities, intersectionality, curriculum, power wheel, social justice, allies, social justice
Tara: Are there ways that teachers or that you yourself have found to create some kind of discussion of multiple identities at the same time as you are focusing on a particular identity?
Garrett: Every one of our courses, and this isn’t just me, um, our entire staff is well-versed and trained on all these identities and so embedding, and this is also part of my job in special programs is working with all of our teachers to embed all of the social justice, all of the identities in all of our curriculum.
Garrett: So, it’s not just in my room. So, when they go from room to room they will hear the same terminology, They have all done the power wheel, and their area of oppression and understand those concepts of intersectionality. When they are doing work in an English class, they are reading “The Indian in the Cupboard.” And they’re reading other books specific to identities and they can pick and choose where those readings lie. Um, and because we’re a social activist based school and driven school, it happens in every room.
Garrett: Even the Black Studies today, for example, um, while it’s a Black Studies course, our conversation today was actually about Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes. So the intersectionality of race and gender, male privilege, all of those conversations were happening today. So it’s not always specific. So in all of them, for example, whether you’re in Native Studies, Black Studies, English class, anti-oppression, the power wheel, is a starting point.
Garrett: And so the power wheel has about twenty different areas of possible identity. So then I work with them with exploring all of those areas and then having conversations in those areas who holds power, who doesn’t hold power? Where do you just lose power, and where do you just gain power? And so you’re first having conversations about all of these identities, then I give them the wheel and that’s the opportunity for them to actually shade in their own degrees of holding power or not holding power. Our goal in that is – because people who are marginalized already know where they don’t hold power.
Garrett: That’s not our conversation. Our conversation is where do you hold power. And through ally capacity what are you going to do with that power? And then we move into social activism from there.