Story draws us closer, cultivates empathy, and improves our school. Building racial literacy within schools begins with storytelling. As Dr. Howard Stevenson explains in his book Promoting Racial Literacy In Schools: Differences That Make a Difference, “In storytelling, individuals can ease into self-reflection and become self-critical without public scrutiny. With practice, one can learn to forgive mistakes and see how context and history matter in racial decision making and action.” Developing this skill is consistent with our aim to grow a more restorative community that supports healthy relationship, individual and collective healing. We overcome the practice of avoidance and denial when we practice self-reflection and storytelling.
In August 2023, seventeen members of the Nichols community; faculty, staff, and administration began their respective journey to master the basic literacy skills of racial observation. They took part in The Lion’s Story Racial Literacy Virtual Institute, grounded in the work of Dr. Howard Stevenson. The Institute spanned four days where Nichols administrators worked together, excavated, and shared stories, practiced stress reduction techniques, and healthy responses to racially stressful moments. The work was challenging and allowed participants to stretch in ways that promoted meaningful growth.
Inspired by the work of Dr. Howard Stevenson and following up on his January 2023 visit to Nichols School, we are excited to host a collaborative workshop on Tuesday, October 24th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Rand Dining Hall. Please join us for conversation and share meaningful stories that lift up the importance of belonging. Collectively, we will apply the skills that cultivate a stronger, tighter-knit community. We hope you can join us and support this important work.
This is the first of a three-part Community and Storytelling series hosted by Nichols School and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
For planning purposes, please register here. We look forward to seeing you on campus!