Courageous Conversations Mission:
The mission of the Courageous Conversations Program is to expose students to diverse cultural traditions and contributions, as well as provide opportunities for dialogue and perspective taking. The programs will provide a vibrant demonstration of our community’s celebration of diversity, increase our students’ cultural awareness and appreciation, and signal our commitment to engaging in important civic conversations.

Bringing awareness to the topics of healthy relationships, consent, and sexual assault

 On April 8th, 2019, Speak About It presented a performance titled "Consent and Healthy Relationships” to the junior and senior class. Overall, the student leadership program, the performance, and the debrief was very well received by our upperclassmen; the actors used monologues and role-playing scenarios in order to define terminology, present statistics, share anecdotes, and offer intervention strategies, all related to sexual consent and healthy relationships. 


Mental Health Awareness Week

The goal of Mental Health Awareness Week was to increase dialogue and reduce stigma around mental health.  During the week of March 11 - 15, students were invited to participate in a series of activities during lunch block to practice different coping skills.  Other components included displays in the lobby and library, therapy dogs, mindfulness practices in the classroom, a homework-free evening to connect with friends and family, and live music performed by student musicians.  The week was capped off by an all-school assembly, where students heard from Jordan Burnham from Minding Your Mind talk about his own journey and recovery from mental health challenges.

LGBTQ Alumn Panel: Sharing experiences and thoughts about being LGBTQ at WHS and being a straight ally

In January, 6 alumni (WHS '75, WHS '05, WHS '15, and WHS '17) were part of a panel discussion to talk about their experiences being LGBTQ while at WHS and afterward. Panelists shared about their coming out journeys, the challenges that they faced, and the people who nurtured them and loved them and helped them be themselves. They also gave advice to current LGBTQ students about finding the people who will support you for being you, and they gave suggestions to straight allies about how to best support LGBTQ friends and peers. 


Kliptown Gumboot Dancers: Celebrating South African culture through drumming and dance and working to alleviate poverty in Kliptown, South Africa

The Kliptown Gumboot Dancers from Soweto, South Africa performed at Westwood High School as part of a three week US tour to raise awareness and funds for the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP) and celebrate vibrant South African culture through drumming and dance.  KYP provides educational support and after-school activities in the Township of Kliptown with the goal of ending the cycle of poverty through increased opportunities. Kliptown Youth Program co-founder, Thulani Madondo (named one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes in 2012) spoke to WHS students about life in Kliptown, South African culture and his journey as a community activist.  After the exciting and interactive assembly, students returned to class where they engaged in thoughtful discussions about culture, poverty, and the importance of cross-cultural celebration. A few even partook in South African Dance lessons and had personal conversations with the performers.  



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