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Our "DREAM" Project: Deeper Learning, Race, Power and Privilege

Session 2
Rosanny Cuello-Ventura, Padraig Shea, Chris Wilson, Asia Cruz, Rick Lopez, Ava Thomas — South Bronx Community Charter High School

At South Bronx Community Charter High School, we are organized around two big ideas: education for learning’s sake and education for liberation and service. The mission of SBC is to promote student excellence through an emphasis on academic, personal and professional skills in a supportive and responsive learning environment. We accomplish this goal by centering all teaching and learning on a core set of relevant and transferable skills. These competencies are a combination of critical social-emotional skills and applied academic proficiencies.

To promote critical consciousness, this summer, as a founding team, our entire staff read Between the World and Me. From our discussions, we were motivated to introduce our students to the work. Subsequently, we used Between the World and Me as the anchor text for our very first interdisciplinary project. Our project is titled The DREAM and by design, the project connects our humanities and STE(A)M [Science, Arts and Math] classes. From each content perspective, students are grappling with the concept of The DREAM. They explored its definition and tested its universality as a concept and construct. They studied injustices that harm and target our bodies while conducting qualitative and quantitative research, learning about data visualization, crafting letters and creating informative podcasts and vodcasts.

Our Dream project culminates in a public exhibition of student work in collaboration with the Bronx Museum of the Arts to house the installation and host a reception. The founding team will share practices, experiences and student work resulting from the project.

Conversational Practice

The facilitators will engage participants in experiential learning to simulate some of the elements of the DREAM project. Participants will participate in a Starburst Game that simulates systems of economic and racial inequality that was used as part of the Kick-Off to the project. The facilitators will also transform the presentation space into a small museum gallery, displaying student work resulting from the project. Participants will be invited to review the student work and help "tune" the project for future implementation. In addition, participants will engage in a facilitated dialogue to learn about and ask questions related to how the project was created.

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