By Halima Flynn, Development Associate for Special Events and Communications
Once a semester, CG mixes it up and students get to design their day with the help of facilitators like Z Bell and Disha Patel. This semester it was the Freedom Squad that co-created the day! The Freedom Squad at Common Ground is one Social Justice after-school program here at CG that helps our students develop real-world leadership skills. Made up of students interested in organizing for justice work, their MIUD focused on strengthening the CG Community.
Mix It Up Day (or MIUD) is an international campaign that encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. Members of the Freedom Squad “hoped to build a stronger connectivity in our community by building relationships with different people, with teachers, and stronger ones with the students.
On Thursday March 28th, the day began with a student led assembly that outlined the day. Then, students were broken into randomly selected groups and then paired with another student that they didn’t know well. From a list of questions co-created by members of the Freedom Squad they talked about the CG community and their role in it. Instructions created by the Freedom Squad included:
Be respectful. Be kind. Stay open-minded. Stay engaged. Communicate well.
After getting to know each other in this session – they joined with another pair and got to better know each other as well. The main instruction: Find 5 things that everyone in the quartet had in common!
When asked about what they most enjoyed about working with the students on the MIUD, Z said “kicking it with the students, getting them to engage and take agency with the class – it makes me feel really humble.”
After the event, a member of the Freedom Squad said “I was surprised how some people chose games, like musical chairs, and no one really plays games like that here, but since we talked first it was like the game helped us to get to know each other better.”