Ally Week Brings Boys Together for Open Discussions on Inclusivity

Students across all grades at Allen-Stevenson came together last week to recognize Ally Week in a variety of meaningful ways.
Ally Week is a national youth-led effort that encourages students to be allies with the LGBTQ+ members of their community and to stand up against bullying, harassment, and name-calling.
 
During Lower School Community Time led by Third Grade Ambassadors, boys recited the Lower School Pledge, explored what it means to be an ally, and brainstormed how A-S boys can be allies every day. Throughout the week, our Lower Schoolers read picture books that address inclusivity in their classrooms, discussing the themes at play and identifying the allies in the plot. Click here for a list of Ally Week books.
 
In a Middle School Assembly, Fourth Grade Teacher Lorenzo Bellard and Fifth Grade Teacher Maurice Hicks introduced Ally Week by inviting the boys to define key terms, such as “ally” and “LGBTQ,” encouraging our boys to brainstorm how they can be allies and who in their lives has been ally for them.
 
As the culmination of Ally Week, during Friday Morning Meeting Middle and Upper School boys heard from Khalid Taylor ’10, a queer Afro-Latinx performer, documentary songwriter, speaker, and life coach originally from Brooklyn, NY.  Before Khalid took the stage, A-S Instrumental Instructor and Trombonist Thomas Sullivan gave a spectacular solo performance of his own composition. Khalid spoke on the importance of empathy and vulnerability, shared some of his own experiences coming out and the importance of creating safe spaces for people to express themselves. Khalid’s talk was incredibly powerful, as were his musical performances. Later that day, Khalid led eighth grade advisory as a follow-up to his discussion of empathy. We encourage you to watch his talk, linked to this story!
 
Ally Week is a great opportunity for Allen-Stevenson students to learn about celebrating differences, respecting those around them, and advocating for the safety and happiness of all students. Throughout the week, A-S boys engaged in honest, thoughtful conversation with faculty and staff about the importance of ally-ship and support of the LGBTQ community.
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.