Activism Education at Crossroads Enriches Middle School Experience
Student-driven presentations and events explore issues of representation, social justice.
At Crossroads, empowering students with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world is a hallmark of the Middle School experience. Indeed, over the past few months, students have shown initiative and appreciation for nuance in explorations of a variety of social justice issues.
In January, as part of Crossroads’ many activities in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Middle School students presented to the Elementary School about historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The students discussed the schools’ academic and cultural legacies and also highlighted some of their notable alumni.
“Crossroads is a great supporter of student activism efforts for underrepresented causes,” says eighth-grader Nneka Moweta, one of the presenters.
On Feb. 25, as part of Black History Month, the Middle School delved deeper into “Moments of Activism” during a moving assembly. The event featured another dive into HBCUs, a dance performance and an interview with Dr. Elaine Parker-Gills, a former Trustee and parent of alumni who was joined by her son, Crossroads alumnus Dedan Gills ’89.
Following the assembly, the Middle School students were treated to a special Alley performance by the Centennial High School marching band. Students posted handmade posters encouraging activism in the Middle School hallways, creating a Newseum-like display.
In March, sixth-grade students Mira Hill, Sienna Carter, Zoe Pham and Jane Altschule put together a presentation about gender stereotypes in honor of International Women’s Day. The event included a panel discussion with members of Crossroads’ varsity girls basketball team, who answered students’ thoughtful questions about gender bias and inequality.
Says Lexi Peterson, sixth-grade dean: “The students came up with this idea, spent many lunches in meetings, wrote the presentation and executed it perfectly.”