A Year of Hard Work Pays Off at Special Morning Ex

The Parker community was treated to a special Morning Ex this past week, as Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago Director of Development Sangini Brahmbhatt spoke on bystander intervention.

AAAJ states, “To combat the current rise in harassment and discrimination and to also proactively prepare for the future increase of hate incidents, [AAAJ] is partnering with New York-based nonprofit Right To Be to plan and implement an aggressive scaling up of locally led bystander hate incident intervention trainings for community members.” This hour-long program teaches about the types of disrespect and dangers facing Asians and Asian-Americans (from microaggressions to physical violence), explains the importance and impact of bystander intervention and discusses their “5D’s of Intervention” strategy for safely intervening. The MX provided a better understanding of the “whys” and “hows” related to the importance of bystander intervention.

However, the MX is only part of this story. In fact, the work for this MX began a whole year in advance! Parker’s Asian Affinity Club Co-Presidents juniors Audrey Tai and Maddy Young, recognizing the rise in Asian and Asian-American discrimination and hate, decided to do something about it. As Tai explained, “We worked to raise $1,500 through ramen sales for one year to bring AAAJ to Parker to conduct our first bystander intervention training for the entire Upper School. After presenting to the school administration to impress upon them the significance of this training, and then successfully negotiating with AAAJ to reduce their fees, we made this happen! We believe the training was impactful, and we’re grateful to AAAJ and Parker’s administration for all their support.”

Colonel Francis Wayland Parker once said, “The needs of society should determine the work of the school.” Tai, Young and the entire Asian Affinity Club showed how this belief is still alive and well in the school’s halls as a year of hard work and determination to bring this bystander intervention training to their Upper School peers came to fruition. As the school’s mission states, Parker actively seeks to encourage students to exercise personal and civic power by connecting reflection with action, and Parker couldn’t be prouder of these students for living the mission by dedicating their efforts to such a worthy cause.

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.