Leadership Workshop – “Your B.E.S.T. Self”

February 28, 2018

This past Saturday, 33 B.E.S.T. students gathered at Roland Park Country School for a workshop entitled “Your B.E.S.T. Self: Remaining Affirmed in Your Racial Identity During Challenging Times.”

Led by Roland Park Country School Director of Diversity, Marlo Thomas, students spent the morning in a thought-provoking discussion delving into all stages of racial identity development. Ms. Thomas weaved together a comprehensive program that encouraged students to think deeply and reflect inwardly. From analyzing the lyrics of a Kendrick Lamar song, to discussing the powerful messaging in Black Panther, the workshop covered topics including stereotype threats and affirming one’s own racial identity while affirming each other in their school spaces.

At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant contributed a sentence to a community poem along with an “exit ticket” where they shared how they are feeling after the conversation and what they need from the adults in their school community to be successful. We are very grateful to Ms. Thomas for leading such a powerful workshop for our B.E.S.T. students, and her dedication to serving our community, the students she serves at Roland Park Country School, and beyond.

Below are several examples of the “exit ticket” comments that were shared:

“I’m feeling self-affirmed. I have more to offer than is expected of me. I need adults to recognize that we live in a world where we aren’t loved, and that they need to love us more.”
“As a community of POC (people of color) students we need to protect each other and not stereotype each other.”
“I feel proud to be a black Queen. Adults should highlight black achievements.”