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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Lizze Small Contributing Illustrator
How to help our Earth
April 12, 2024

An inside look at the day to day of a social justice rep

Photo of Dinah ’25, the 8th-grade community partnership representative

By Millie ’25 and Anabel ’25

Millie ‘25 and Anabel ‘25 talked to Dinah ‘25 about the ins and outs of being a community partnership representative. Although this position has been around for many years, three years ago the name was switched from community outreach to community partnership. This change happened to encourage the idea of working as a team and as a community to advance our understanding of social justice issues. We asked some questions about what her days look like on council, and also issues in our community that she wants people to become aware of. She had lots to say about white privilege and some future plans for the social justice council, along with some of the struggles of being an 8th grader on council during distance learning. 

Anabel ’25: What does an average day look like for you relating to council? How much time does council work take up during your day?

Dinah ’25: We have a meeting about once a week and that is around half an hour. Any time we have a Kahoot depends on what it’s about if it’s one that I can make just by myself by doing research it takes maybe 45 minutes. And then sometimes I’m also in charge of making the Google slides which can also take a while because I’m very picky.

Millie ’25: Was there something in particular that made you want to be a social justice rep or a certain organization that you wanted to help the school partner with or a certain event that you wanted to have?

D: Well I wanted to get more involved in the community. Also, I really care about our world of course and this position sounded really appealing to me. I believe in equality. I thought that it would be a good outlet to just push forward with talking about white privilege, equality, and LGBTQ rights. However, during quarantine, it’s been pretty tough, especially because people get bored really easily. So recently I’ve not been doing as much social justice stuff. Just more Kahoots on Enola Holmes.

M: If you were in school, what are some things that you were planning on doing?

D: Well the social justice council has actually been talking about implementing something in the health program about white privilege and what that is and why it’s bad. Like privilege that we don’t deserve. And also the council as a whole has been talking about bringing more speakers that aren’t just white, rich entrepreneurs. That’s something that we’ve definitely been talking about. But it’s been difficult.

A: What are some of the social issues in our community and world that you would like to bring awareness to?

D: White privilege and black lives matter protests.

M: It might be a similar answer, but is there anything in the Marlborough community that you feel is not talked about enough? 

D: It’s definitely being talked about more, but we need to have more diverse speakers. White, rich females are great, but we need more diverse speakers.

A: What kind of partnerships or projects have you been thinking about recently if any?

D: Again, we wanted to bring in more diverse speakers because that’s definitely been an issue. We’re also thinking of doing a social justice fair which we need to plan more on. Again, we don’t meet that often. Then again, implementing something where we do talk about privilege. Like a class actually dedicated to it. I would say, though, in the 8th-grade council our main concern right now is how to make class meetings fun. Give people a chance to have fun because during quarantine it’s been pretty rough. Like movie nights and Kahoots. We don’t just want to talk at people. We want it to be a fun experience where we get to hang out with people and just let loose. 

M: As an 8th grader, is it difficult to collaborate with the older social justice representatives?

D: Oh it’s very scary. I would say I say around two words in each meeting. It’s really so scary. For a while, I was the youngest one there because the 7th grader hadn’t been elected and she actually wasn’t at the last meeting. I’ve always been the youngest one there. Everyone is so smart and so articulate and I’m just there (laughs) and I’m very afraid to speak up because they’re all so cool and I don’t know what to do. They have these incredible ideas and I’m just like “Ohhh..” So yes, it is very intimidating.

M: What are some steps we could take to becoming more inclusive and aware of our actions?

D: I think Marlborough is doing really well. We talk about it in advisory which is a really good outlet for it. Just being aware of what you do. Being aware of your privilege and then also using it to help others. Just being inclusive. Again though, council… we haven’t really talked about it. The 8th grade. We’re just trying to make class meetings fun.

That was our interview with Dinah. Some of her main points were that it was difficult to keep classmates engaged during class meetings on Zoom and that even though they have great ideas in the works, most of their big projects will have to be completed when we go back to school. This is the first of a series on the 8th-grade council so be on the lookout in the next issue of The M for our next article. Hopefully, we can all take something away from this and learn more about how to be more aware of our actions.

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    Aoife 25Apr 10, 2024 at 3:14 pm

    Love this!