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Students Take the Lead at Packer in Action 2018
Students Take the Lead at Packer in Action 2018
View photos from the Middle School production of Annie Jr.

The Packer Collegiate Institute

Students Take the Lead at Packer in Action 2018

From the Pre-K Three Puppies to the Class of 2018, students, faculty, and staff dedicated a school day to work to engage, discuss, and act to dismantle gender norms on Packer in Action Day in February.

Younger students discussed the meaning of gender and ways to dismantle gender stereotypes.

Middle School students led activities exploring gendered toys, clothing, and literature for their Lower School Pelican Partners. Later in the day, Middle School groups discussed gendered behavioral expectations, consent, dress code and school policies, and homophobia in sports, among other topics.

Among other activities, Upper School students gathered in affinity groups and led 15 workshops for their peers that included conversations on:

Global Feminism
Intersectionality: LGBTQ+ and People of Color
The Danger with Casual Language
Sexism in Sports
Breaking Out of the Man Box: Healthy Masculinity for High School and Beyond
Understanding Consent
Exploring Gender in Literature

Faculty had the opportunity to attend professional development workshops with transgender activist Dr. Eli R. Green.

The Middle and Upper Schools gathered for reflections at the end of the day. One student remarked that we should "support people to be who they want to be and be whatever gender they want."

Another noted that "Intersectionality is not a switch you can turn on and off. All the issues go hand in hand and a lot of things play into the role of gender."

Director of Diversity and Equity Semeka Smith-Williams praised the students' engagement throughout the program."We need to listen to students," she said to the assembled faculty and administrators. She then turned back to the teenagers in the room and said, "Thank you for sharing your voices."