In the winter and spring of 2017, I had the opportunity to assist Fairhaven Complex students in developing a community education session to respond to multiple acts of anti-Semitism in Fairhaven. Student leaders volunteered to create a presentation for all Fairhaven students.
The Resident Director and I provided logistical support: funding, staffing, and location. We also provided a significant “positional” support, by which I mean we used our authority to lower barriers and drive student attendance at the event. The three evening presentations were highly attended and student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Looking forward, it’s my hope that the experience gained will aid our students and staff in directly addressing bias in our community through active, student-driven educational outreach.
I will say for any professionals considering a similar, student led approach, it did require about eight weeks of planning and preparation from the start to the first presentation. Iterative development techniques was an important part of the project’s success: draft, review, revise, repeat.
You can read about the project’s results in our student newspaper, the Western Front, here.