“Experience, Expression, Empower” workshops


Act up/Act Now

Miya Matsuishi-Elhardt

From the walkouts in Parkland, FL to the use of social media to mobilize after the 2016 election, student activism and social innovation have taken center stage. How can we start similar grassroots movements to fix problems faced by women of color in our schools? For this workshop, each girl should come prepared with one specific issue affecting women of color in her community. As a group, we will discuss goal-setting and social movement theory before generating specific plans to address these issues. This is an action-based workshop, so be prepared to crowdsource ideas and create measurable and attainable solutions to bring back to your school community.


Ariana Martinez & Georgia Lewis

Colorism is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin color. As a group, we will discuss how women of color on all ends of the color spectrum perceive lighter women of color and their place in this group. We will tackle the question “Is lighter skin equivalent to White privilege?” and how this plays into representation of women of color in media. While we will discuss the privilege of having lighter skin, we will also examine the confusion that arises within lighter skinned individuals as people of color (i.e. “Can I consider myself a women of color if I’m white passing?”). Furthermore, we will explore how colorism affects us as women of color in predominantly white high schools.

IMG_0808 (1).jpg

Coming in: LGBTq+ As woc

Alyza Martinez & Vanessa Vigil

As women of color, we understand and experience LGBTQ+ issues much differently than white and male communities. Together we will discuss how we fit on the spectrum through the exploration of queer history, cultures of communities of color, our own experiences, the expressions of our identities, and the empowerment we can put forth. We will also explore how all of these things tie into our experiences in independent schools and as young women of color navigating heteronormative spaces. This is a safe affinity space for queer/LGBTQ+ women only. .

Experience, Expression, and Empowerment in Beauty

Bella Fleming, Ebony Morris, Amber Quiñones

In the “Experience, Expression, and Empowerment in Beauty” workshop, we will discuss the ways in which beauty standards affect women of color in predominantly white independent schools. We will challenge each others thinking by examining what beauty standards are perpetuated in our own communities vs what we see in the overarching narrative perpetuated in popular American culture. We hope to cover heavier topics such as “ideal body image” and the effects of the male gaze while also discussing the ways in which the beauty industry has evolved within the past year (ex. Fenty beauty and the impact of having a makeup brand emphasize the importance of multiculturalism).

entrepreneurship: Starting Something Now

Julianna Davis, Schatzie Allen-Jefferson & Monetta White

We’re focusing on what it takes to turn an idea into a thriving company. The best entrepreneurship/startup businesses are formed from the intersection of a real customer problem and your personal strengths and passions. What are our areas of expertise as women of color? As minorities, why is it especially important to leverage our networks and share our experiences? During our time, you will learn how to form startup ideas, take the lead on analyzing businesses, do your research, and how to persevere in one of the most challenging yet rewarding types of work. This workshop is co-facilitated by Monetta White (owner of restaurant Black Bark on Fillmore) and Schatzie Jefferson (President of The Allen Group), as well as one of the Riot Committee members.