We are PJA Proud of the twelve PJA Middle School students who recently participated in a virtual Student Diversity Leadership Retreat hosted by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), PJA’s accrediting body. During the two day event, our students connected with student leaders from across the Northwest, explored the role of art in social movements, participated in affinity spaces and arts-based workshops, and generated plans for bringing their experiences and their learning back to PJA.
Each student participated in Family Groups, Affinity Groups, and Art and Activism Workshops.
The Family Group was the “home” group that included students from different schools and from diverse backgrounds. The Affinity Group was made up of a group of students with a shared identity based on race, religion, gender, sexuality, or another shared experience. The Art and Activism Workshops were led by professional and practicing artists whose work is grounded in social justice including “RAPtivist” Aisha Fukushima and interdisciplinary artist Anastacia-Renee.
This group of engaged, passionate, and committed students came back with wonderful experiences, memories, and ideas for how PJA can continue its diversity work and can further our commitment to social justice.
PJA 6th grader Liem writes, “The affinity groups were awesome! The affinity groups were basically groups of people who could speak from the "I am" perspective...I decided to join the black/African-American affinity group, and I wasn't surprised, but there were a lot of people there. I could relate to them, and talk to people who I haven't even met! It was super fun, and I would do it again.”