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Mira Krishnan visited Stevenson as part of a Day of Diversity discussion on Tuesday, January 30th. Mira, a social entrepreneur and feminist activist, seized and held attention in a packed lobby filled with students and teachers before having lunch with the GSX club, walking faculty through a mid-afternoon workshop, and meeting with parents for a wine and cheese evening event sponsored by the Parents Association.
Among other topics, Krishnan discussed her life as a trans woman, overcoming an eating disorder, and growing up wanting to build rocket ships.
“Everybody in this room has a story,” Krishnan told the students. “That story matters.”
In addition to sharing her own story, Krishnan engaged all participants in a question and answer session, and it proved particularly powerful with the opening student session. Following days of pre-thinking, students asked questions that showed genuine interest and concern in and for our community.
Krishnan’s visit was particularly impactful to members of the GSX. GSX is a student club that meets twice a week to discuss personal stories and broader LGBTQ issues. The club is a space for non-judgmental and supportive dialogue. It strives to make each member feel heard and accepted as well as raise awareness in the community. Below are responses to Krishnan’s visit from members of the GSX.
“I remember when Mira described being brave as when you are afraid but still do the right thing. That’s how I feel when I stand up to someone who has spoken with ignorance.” – Stevenson Student
“I think it was so important to understand how feminism and LGBT issues are connected to race. It’s not two different worlds.” – Stevenson Student
“It’s refreshing to hear someone who is so honest about her story. It makes it easier for other people to talk about their own stories.” – Stevenson Student
In meeting with faculty, Krishnan discussed changing the visibility of the LGBTQ community; challenges for LGBTQ youth; a primer on trans healthcare; emerging topics; and best practices.
“We support youth in identifying who they are,” she said, and, similarly, Krishnan encouraged all adults to take an inward look at their own beliefs and practices.
According to Jerry Pavlon-Blum, Ed.M., Stevenson’s Director of Program Development: “Developing new programs for Stevenson includes opportunities built to include our parents as learners. Parent professional development isn’t something we see as a rule, and Stevenson recognizes the importance taking everyone in our community forward, parents wholeheartedly included.”
In addition to shaping the way we each may look at self and society, Mira left us with data-driven encouragement to support identities, to promote social connections, and to generally be a virtuous force in what can be a vicious world.