High School Student and Activist, Acton Boxborough High School
My name is Songbawera Issah and I am a 17-year-old senior at Acton-Boxborough regional Highschool. In my free time, I play Ice Hockey on the women’s varsity team at my high school. This 2019-2020 season I served as the Captain of the team, which was an honor since I was the first black female captain in the history of our school’s ice hockey program. Although Ice Hockey is a huge commitment in my life, my first priority is activism in my community. During my sophomore year of high school, I received a racially charged note, “telling me to get out of this town” ending with a racial slur. Since then, many more hate crimes have occurred in our town and I have taken on the responsibility to do what I can to give our minority communities a voice. This winter I planned and hosted a walk-out protest to demand changes to be made in our school system and town to help make it a welcoming and safe place for all people regardless of race, color, or ethnicity.
I chose this video because it explains a social construct that has affected me personally. Growing up I have never had a teacher of color, although not impossible it is difficult for teachers who have not walked in the shoes of a minority to truly understand some of the hardships students of color go through on everyday bases. This video brings to light the importance and the change I believe my school system and many others around the country need to make in order to foster equity and inclusion within their schools.
Song’s Discussion Questions (PDF for Print)
- How will having teachers of color close the academic achievement gap between students of color and their Caucasian peers in the classroom?
- What education/ programs can be put in place to prevent racially charged hate crimes between students at school?
- What does it mean to feel secure and safe in your community?
- What does it mean to have a role model?