Identifying Stereotypes

Posted 3 June 2015 12:00 AM by Madison

Since the beginning of the school year we began putting songs, scenes, and monologues together, while trying to relate everything to our general topic about ‘Identifying Stereotypes.’ This was our unanimous topic because it is a topic that affects all of us, in varying degrees. While we don’t have problems like this in Teen Council, when we are in the outside world, we become vulnerable to the prejudices of society. Even if it’s not us being a victim of discrimination, it could be a friend, relative, or a neighbor that is suffering from the same issue. While discussing different problems in our communities today, stereotypes was a common struggle that we all have faced before, and even today.

After choosing our topic, our next task was to create material to showcase to future audiences. One of our earliest pieces was a song we wrote called “You Know.” I remember we all gathered around a piano and after getting our chorus down, we collectively co-wrote the verses of the song. When we finished, we revised and learned to sing our brand new song. Later we began to work on scenes that show some of the different discrimination we have faced in our lives. Then we learned about micro-aggressions which are small things that people do or say that have an overall hidden prejudice. Afterwards a few of us, including myself, wrote some monologues to add into our performance. My monologue was about the struggle of the poor, the issues they face, and how even poverty can be overcame with hope, confidence, and purpose. We also wrote another song called “I Know” which was the reprise of “You Know.” This song calls to action that we, as a human race, have to put our differences aside and help each other.

With majority of the creative process complete, it was time to begin spreading our messages. We started at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), with a group of Master’s students in the Arts in Education program. After we showcased our work and efforts, many said they were inspired and impressed with our dedication to the arts, and the positive message we were spreading to our communities. We also had the opportunity to perform at HGSE’s annual Alumni of Color Conference, where we performed for fellow teens our age from different states and neighborhoods. That day we all shared our difficult memories and experiences. It was an unforgettable moment in my life. So many of their stories really touched my heart. It felt good to share with them as well and to know that I’m not alone. We also performed for Boston Neighborhood Networks “It’s All About Arts” TV program, which was a very fun and incredible experience. I was a little nervous since the program was going to be live, but it is one of my favorite memories in Teen Council.

We still continue to spread our message and stories of “Identifying Stereotypes.” Our next target audience is the youth of Boston in community centers, as we want to connect with as many kids as we can. I really look forward to relating with other youth in my city, and stay hopeful that one day, this kind of message will have reached everyone and we can live in a more understanding world.

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