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2022 Social Justice Day: Decolonizing History and Society

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, CSW hosted its annual Michael H. Feldman ’67 Social Justice Day. The topic for this year’s event was Decolonizing History and Society. The day consisted of a series of presentations in the Robin Wood Theatre, with experts in the field offering their perspective on the main topic. This year’s speakers were Danielle Lucero, a Ph.D. candidate in the Justice and Social Inquiry program in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University; Cecilia Marek, a Gender Studies Ph.D. student and teaching assistant at Arizona State University; and Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst, a Ph.D. student in the Justice and Social Inquiry program in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. 

In the days leading up to the event, CSW’s library, led by Jenna Wolf, CSW’s Director of Library and Technology Integration, hosted an online exhibit demonstrating the decolonization of space and collections. Community members were also invited to stop by the library in person for a self-guided tour of decolonizing the library. Jenna, who is a citizen of Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, also paired up with History Teacher Jordan Clark, a citizen of the Wampanoag tribe of Aquinnah, to make an introductory video for the community to set context for the day and introduce students to important concepts related to the speakers’ prepared talks. 

After a welcome from Jordan prompting students to set intentions for the day, Maya Lownie ’24, kicked things off by introducing speaker Danielle Lucero, whose presentation was titled “Indigenous Love and Colonial Constraints: Indigenous Relationships, History, and Decolonization.” She began her talk by providing historical context, going through U.S. Indigenous History from Pre-Contact, to Settler Colonialism, to the various eras of indigenous history. After, she spoke about indigenous native families, and some of the research she is doing into tribal enrollment and partnership among natives of a wide span of ages. 

Devin Donofrio-Ralls’22 introduced the second speaker, Cecilia Marek. Cecilia’s presentation was titled, “#IndigenousZinesters: Indigenous Feminist Zine-Making as a Decolonial Practice.” In speaking about her work and research, Cecilia helped to define Indigenous Feminisms, identifed core concepts of indigenous feminist theory, and shared how Indigenous feminists use zine-making as decolonial practice. 

The last presenter of the day was Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst, introduced by Que Riggins ’24. Nicholet’s research explores indigenous activism through social media. In her talk, she touched on the importance of representation, shared examples of contemporary Native American activism, and explored how social media can be used as a tool for activism and positive change. Near the end, she prompted the community to contemplate the question of whether social media, even with all its power and benefits, can be decolonized. 

After the event, students broke out into advisory groups to discuss the day, a conversation that continued on into the next day. 

To read more about the speakers and view recordings from the event, please visit the social justice day landing page at www.csw.org/social-justice-day

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.