On February 20th, members of the D.R.E.A.M Coalition visited our sister school St. Francis High School in Mountain View for a Black History Speakers Series. Dr. Donald Grant, a Clinical Psychologist, and Diversity/Inclusion Practitioner spoke to the attendees about allyship, advocacy and shifting culture on school campuses. The crowd was called to task as change agents and to be upstanders as opposed to bystanders when seeing unjust and unfair practices at school, and in everyday life. His talk also included ways to implement change on campuses and the call for representation inside and outside of the classroom in order to expand worldviews and have diverse representation. Current Fellow and alum Michael Pacheco ‘13 escorted the students to the event and was happy he was able to attend. “I am extremely inspired and cannot wait to see the ways that our students take this information and apply it to our school climate.”
Jaelynn Cid ‘21, a member of the varsity girls basketball team posed a question to Dr. Grant after he concluded his presentation. Armed with new information, Jaelynn asked how students could implement it within their school’s community. Dr. Grant offered up some advice for students doing this type of work on campus. “Have conversations with teachers and ask if we can read a book from another perspective, or learn about how science affects different populations.” The call to action was not only for teachers, but students as well to do research and learn about their culture and then share it with others.
Current varsity football player LC Glover ‘21, said this experience gave him a new perspective on how he could actually make change on campus, and gave him more inspiration for his capstone. During the presentation, Dr. Grant pointed out how some see people who need help and never do anything about it. In the van ride home LC shared his mission for his capstone with his fellow students. “My Young Royalty clothing line will be an affordable clothing line, that gives a percentage of the profit to lower income families. Whether that is providing new clothes or food, I want to take a financial burden off of their shoulders so they have enough money to focus on other needs.”
The D.R.E.A.M Coalition and our Social Justice Program thank the Holy Cross Achievers and International Club of Saint Francis High school for creating a partnership to ways for students to make lasting changes in school climate and inclusion.