We The People Uses Literature to Facilitate Discussion of Important Issues

By Julia G. ’21, Co-Head We The People

We The People, Foxcroft’s diversity and inclusion club, has been utilizing Foxcroft’s new “WeekendMission” times to have meaningful and thought-provoking discussions about pieces of literature and important issues. This past Friday, my co-head of We The People, Elaine P. ‘22, facilitated two hour-long discussions that counted towards WeekendMission’s Civil Discourse badge. To earn a badge for a WeekendMission category, you must complete eight hours of participation in certain weekend events that fit that category. Each student is required to participate in some form of WeekendMission events; whether it be eight hours in one category, or one hour in each category, which can grant you the “Stretching Your Comfort Zone” badge.
Elaine’s first discussion of the night focused on Sojourner Truth’s famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” and the significance of the speech not only during her time period but also how important it is today. We reflected on Truth’s life, her story, and what she had gone through to reach the point of her speech. The other students that joined us in conversation offered insights on how women of color have experienced sexism in extremely different ways than white women during this time; moreover, we discussed how women of color experience sexism and racism much differently even today. 

In the second hour, we focused on the article “Beauty… and the Beast of Advertising” by Jean Kilbourne. The article focused on the stereotypes of women portrayed in advertisements and the negative connotations these draw. After reading the article, we jumped into a very interesting discussion about how products are advertised and how they might be attempting to catch the interests of certain groupings of people. 

After our final discussion question, we stopped to reflect on what we had learned during the hour together (or two if you had stayed for both, which most people did). It was inspiring to me to hear students discuss their understanding of the topics we had covered, and I appreciated everyone’s interest in being an active participant in complex and sometimes difficult discussions. 

We will host another series of these conversations on Friday, April 16, facilitated by Marlow B. ’22, one of We The People’s assistant heads. 
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.