AGC Launches Global Citizen Workshop Series in Middle School

14 Feb

AGC’s Middle School program is kicking off a Global Citizen Workshop Series in two weeks with expert guest lectures and performances on social justice issues. Every month AGC students in grades 6-8 will participate in workshops led by local experts and members of our community.

AGC’s core mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. In order to help our students develop the skills and aptitudes of an open-minded critical thinker, we seek to engage them in critical dialog about what is happening around the block and around the globe.

AGC’s Middle Years Program Coordinator, Berenice Salas, is spearheading this initiative alongside student and faculty leaders. Mrs. Salas brings a unique perspective as a long-time social justice educator and parent of three AGC students who has spent her whole life in our community on the southwest side. For Mrs. Salas, this workshop series is a way to proactively address the needs of our local community by encouraging grassroots advocacy.  

“We need to have critical dialogue with our students. We need them to commit to being part of the positive change in our world. This is a way for them to develop a deeper understanding of their role within our school, their community, society, and the world.” – Berenice Salas, AGC Middle Years Program Coordinator

Each workshop will feature at least one guest expert who will engage our students in reflective dialog on important issues in our community around the world.  The organizing committee has prioritized seeking experts who are represent the diversity within our community and who are aligned to AGC’s mission and vision.

The Global Citizen Workshop Series kicks off in two weeks with a workshop featuring local rapper and educator Lizzie G. Lizzie G’s programming addresses issues of race, identity, empowerment, bullying and social emotional learning, through dialog and entertainment. Local to Chicago, Lizzie frequently takes her “No Bully Zone” program  on the road, and recently returned from a tour of schools in Haiti.

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Lizzie G performs during a No Bully Zone school program in Chicago.

Proposed upcoming topics include: social media and our digital footprint; crime, drugs, and gangs; interpersonal violence and bullying; healthy sexuality and LGBTQ+ identities; and social emotional wellness. 

In addition to this workshop series for Middle School students, AGC educators are also hosting a parent discussion series. This series, which we are calling “Real Talk,” offers a safe environment and resources to support our parent community in discussing topics such as gender, race, ethnicity, and culture. Real Talk  seeks to provide a safe and respectful space to discuss tough topics, to help participants develop better understandings of different perspectives, and to encourage the sharing of personal stories and opinions.

If you are an educator or school leader interested in learning how AGC incorporates global citizenship and social justice into our culture, curriculum and operations, please contact us to learn about professional development offerings.

We are enthusiastic about these new initiatives and will keep you updated on the blog as our Global Citizen Workshops and Real Talk Series continues. As a public charter school, AGC’s budget is limited by per-pupil funding amounts, and we seek donations for important innovative programs like our Global Citizen Workshop series, 100% Organic food program, and international student travel. Click here to make a donation to support innovative programs at AGC or  contact us to sponsor an upcoming workshop.

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AGC students at a recent Peace Rally

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