activism

Registration Open for New Public After-School Classes!

For the first time in our nearly 70-year history, Green Meadow Waldorf School is offering after-school classes that are open to the public. Beginning the week of September 10, 2018, all classes take place on our 11-acre wooded campus in Chestnut Ridge, in Rockland County, NY (just three miles from Bergen County, NJ). Courses are run by teachers, parents, and friends of our school.

These classes are designed to offer students opportunities to stretch their minds and bodies while they develop new skills and friendships.

Classes offered include: Activism/Civics, Capoiera, Circus Arts, Cooking, Culinary Arts, Fiber Craft, Gardening, Jewelry, KEVA Planks: The Making of an Architect!, Making Herbal Remedies and Products, Photography, Textile Design and Sewing, Theater Arts, and Woodworking.

Click here for the full brochure and here for the program webpage.

For more information and to register, please contact the teacher(s) of the class(es) that interest you. Contact information for each teacher is listed in the brochure.

For general program information, please contact Vicki Larson, Director of Communications and Marketing, 845.356.2514 x311 or vlarson@gmws.org.

Summer Blog Series: Highlights from The Bulletin (#6)

This Summer, we are sharing some of our favorite articles published this past year in The Bulletin. Enjoy! 

Diversity and Inclusion Update

Vanessa Lee based on an interview with Leslie Laboriel, Diversity Committee Co-Chair

When Leslie Laboriel and I met at the Café sharing warm tea on a toasty January morning, Leslie provided a glimpse into what the Diversity and Inclusion committee is up to this year.  Leslie has been a member of the community for the last six years.  Her first two years at GMWS were spent supporting a variety of activities.  During the second year, she realized how diversity of thought could benefit the GMWS community which is what motivated her to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Last year she welcomed an invite to become co-chair of the committee with Vicki Larson and Maskit Ronen.  The committee is willing to embrace the difficult work ahead by listening and learning from each other.  During meetings, the goal is to create a safe room filled with love and respect.  The committee corrects and supports each other as they continue to learn from one another and push towards full inclusion. 

This year the Diversity and Inclusion Committee will focus on the following goals:

·         Educate faculty/staff on the value that diversity brings, and the challenges to and urgency of being an inclusive community

·         Offer practical support for faculty

·         Improve support networks and advocacy mechanisms for current diverse students and parents

·         Involve students in the diversity and inclusion work

·         Evaluate the committees impact to the community

What has the committee accomplished this year?

Supported student activism club in chartering a bus to the Women’s March on Jan 21 in Washington DC.

The march provided an opportunity for our students to exercise their democratic right to a peaceful expression of their opinions.  They created powerful posters and experienced firsthand the results of grass roots organizing.

Helped create the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Assembly

Diversity Committee Co-Chair and High School Science Teacher, Maskit Ronen, headed up a sub-committee of parents, teachers, and staff to create this collaboration of works from the grades.  The assembly was performed on Tuesday, January 16th in Rose Hall.  The Second Grade performed a hymn and the entire school sang “We Must Overcome”.  Music played a significant role during the Civil Rights movement because it provided motivation during long marches, psychological strength against harassment and brutality, as well as a peaceful way to pass the time.  The third and fourth grade recited Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” from the balcony.  There was a eurythmy performance by two seniors, Utchaa Williams and Alexander Allen-Walden, to the song, Can U C the Pride in the Panthers, by the late rapper, Tupac Shakur.  In a moving demonstration, the sixth grade recited “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The afternoon culminated with the visual presentation of the “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington DC.  Mr. Karl Frederickson, a retired Green Meadow history teacher, told the audience how the “I Have a Dream” speech was originally unplanned.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. read a scripted speech and when he finished, singer Mahalia Jackson cried out, “tell them about the dream, Martin!”  The iconic “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most famous and moving speeches in our history.

Advocated for and achieved a professional development day in March 2017 on gender diversity

We are excited to welcome Benjamin Davis from The Ackerman Institute for the Family to our campus to  deepen faculty and staff understanding about gender fluidity and working with trans and gender-fluid students.

Support for faculty on culturally responsive pedagogy

We shared with faculty/staff the presentation that Vicki gave at the June 2016 AWSNA conference to help them identify and articulate personal and institutional challenges, and develop a shared language and framework

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee created an extensive resource list for teachers for Black History Month.  The list contained links to web-sites and reading materials to support the teachers of all grade levels.

Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV, a young community organizer in Rockland County, will attend High School Week to commence Black History month.

March 5 – 7:  Undoing Racism Training at Rockland Community College

Green Meadow has committed to having all teachers, staff and Board members participate in Undoing Racism Training within three years of joining GMWS.  Currently twenty-seven people have attended the training

Undoing Racism was developed by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, which is an organization focusing on the understanding of racism and its historical roots as well as why it persists and how it can be undone.  When Leslie Laboriel attended, there were about 80 participants from a variety of backgrounds including social work, education, law enforcement, and legal.  She found the training extremely informative, transforming, supportive, and engaging.  She left with a feeling of what is possible after being rejuvenated.

Families of Color Lunch – March 5th

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will have their second annual Families of Color Lunch on Sunday, March 5 in the High School common room.   Families of color are invited to socialize, connect and share their cultural experiences.   Our goal is to inspire people to share resources and support one another. 

What are we working on for the remainder of the year and beyond?

·         Each member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee will complete the Harvard University Implicit Association Test (IAT) surveys to identify hidden biases; they will use the results to have open conversation about individual findings.

·         Deepen connection to Otto Specht School

·         Focus on recruiting and selection practices

Summer Blog Series: Highlights from The Bulletin (#5)

This Summer, we are sharing some of our favorite articles published this past year in The Bulletin. Enjoy! 

Women's March on Washington – Two Perspectives

Emily Lauer, Twelfth Grade Student

Sunday, January 21st will go down in history as an extraordinary day. On this day millions of women and men came together not just across our country, but across the planet to stand together, united, to show their support for each other and to rally against the mistreatment of women, in general and by the new administration in particular.

With the help of Bonnie Johnson and Vicki Larson, the Student Activism Committee organized a bus that brought 52 energized, powerful, and spirited souls to Washington for the march. On our way to D.C., we made signs, sang songs, and told stories. There was a buzz of excitement and a commitment to be heard. After fighting our way (peacefully) through the mad metro crowds we were greeted with roaring waves of sound from the thousands of March participants; the energy was palpable. It was wonderful having so many Green Meadow representatives walking side by side sharing in the smiles and tears of the masses.

Experiencing our ability to express ourselves in a peaceful but strong way highlighted one of the key foundations of our democracy and brought to life how truly fortunate we are.

 

Miana Johnson, Eleventh Grade Student

On January 21, I joined a group of students and community members and attended the Women's March on Washington, one of the many marches around the country and the world that took place that day. This was my first protest and I don't think I could have asked for a better, more peaceful one. After five hours on a bus we arrived and took a long very crowded metro ride, walked a few blocks, and then joined the march.   As far we could see in front of us were people, there was a vast sea of pink hats and signs and all 50 of us eagerly joined in with our own signs and even our own chants.  That day I felt I was a part of a community; I was marching in solidarity with thousands of protesters in D.C., and I felt I was part of something really cool and special. It was very inspiring to see such a large group of diverse and empowered people. Thousands upon thousands peacefully came together to spread love and support and stand up for what they believed in. It wasn't just about women, it was about anything and everything that people felt was unjust. Although many aspects of the day were unpleasant: the long bus ride, the ride in the packed metro, my sore feet, just being able to be a part of something like this was an experience I would not trade for anything. I felt like I was a part of something really inspiring, something so much more powerful than myself, and it gave me just a little bit of hope.