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The Fearless Times

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Summer Zoom-In On Stories: Week 3

Hello again Fearless Ideas community!

This past Tuesday, we welcomed students back once again to our virtual summer Zoom-In series. It was so good to see everyone's smiling faces again!

Last week, we challenged everyone to collect one piece of advice on how to live a good life, and asked students to write it down, and decorate it while we were introducing the workshop for this week. Our theme this week was community stories - celebrating all the different, original narratives that each individual in our greater community has!

Some pieces of advice included:

  • "Be brave, be honest"

  • "Be prepared! Don't panic"

  • "If you do a bad thing, try to turn it a good thing, and try not to get greedy"

  • "Love yourself like you love others"

  • "Push yourself, and fail. If you don’t know failure, than you will continue to fail in life"

After we finished sharing these wonderful pieces of advice, we moved onto a short Ted Talk by poet and activist Amanda Gorman, which many of our students recognized. After watching her inspiring speech ("Using Your Voice is a Political Choice" on YouTube), students and workshop leaders discussed the meaning of a mantra: something that you can write and tell yourself to activate your courage and fearlessness! We then posed these two questions to all our elementary and middle school students:

1. Whose shoulders do we stand on?

2. What do we stand for?

Workshop leader Bryan led a group brainstorm illustration for these two questions in the form of a mind map! Some student responses (both elementary and middle school) included:

I stand on the shoulders of:

  • my grandparents, who moved to the US from Morocco and Egypt to get a better life

  • everyone who I have ever met, pleasant or not, who have given me love, hope, pain, promise, and the reason to become who I am becoming

  • my mother/my parents

  • the dissidents that dared to dream

I stand for:

  • peace, love, justice

  • the BLM and civil rights movements

  • endangered animals like sea turtles

  • writers, dreamers, and thinkers

  • the end of racial discrimination and poverty

  • the immigrants on whose broken backs we stand

Students were given some time to reflect on what was important to them both personally and for promoting the greater good of society. It was wonderful seeing all the topics that students were passionate about and drew inspiration from in our community! (see images below).

We finally transitioned to the introduction of our special guests for this week's workshops: Jeannie Yandel (a podcast host and passionate storyteller) in the elementary class, and Indra Greenberg (a high school writer, activist, and host of the Mindful Politics podcast) in the middle school class. We asked one student volunteer from each workshop to be our student interviewer for the guests! Here are the thoughtful questions our students asked:

  1. What is the work you do?

  2. How is writing/storytelling important to the work that you do?

  3. How do you find stories in your own lives or in your community?

It was amazing to see how seriously our student interviewers took their interactions with our special guests, and everyone was so engaged in our special guests' answers!

Before leaving, we left all the students with a challenge to collect a story in your family/community using the questions (about things that inspire us and how we we would tell our own stories) that we brainstormed together. We can't wait to have everyone back next week and see what all our students have come up with!

Until next time, and see you soon!

Created, edited, and posted by Michelle, Fearless Ideas summer intern



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