Identity self-portraits create opportunities for self-understanding by encouraging youth to reflect on different facets of their identities. Participants illustrate their visible and invisible identity markers, reflect upon how these identities interact with how they perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others.
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This activity prompts young people to think and speak critically with their peers about a real-world topic. They consider how the topic applies to them and how it might impact others. During this activity, youth share their opinions, debate their positions, and sometimes even change sides as their opinions shift to accommodate new information or other viewpoints. This activity introduces young people to the concepts of bias and stereotypes by discussing how the judgments we make can be very damaging.
Many American citizens with a "hyphenated ethnicity, race, or country" experience a double consciousness. In this activity, youth write a narrative essay from the perspective of another person, reflecting upon their own opinions about how the hyphen is used. Hyphen-Stories is inspired by an article by Dena Simmons called, "Why We Can't Afford Whitewashed Social-Emotional Learning."
The "Current Event Check-In" is an Everyday SEL practice. It is a culturally responsive version of the daily emotion check-in; it offers youth the opportunity to check-in regarding the current events in their communities. In order to have a social awareness of one’s community, youth must be able to inquire, discuss, and share their thoughts and opinions about the events in their community on a regular basis.
After a meaningful session or day together, a reflective writing prompt can help young people internalize, sort, or articulate their thoughts and feelings. A great tool for SEL and personal reflection, exit tickets provide a prompt to bring thoughts to a close before moving out the door. Designed to be handed to the facilitator as a "ticket" out the door, they may also be kept private if someone doesn't want to share their thoughts in the moment.
Language holds the power to unite or divide us, and we may unknowingly use language that excludes or offends our listeners. The language used at home, on TV, in Music, and in the Media often contains insensitive or divisive language with the potential to offend. Youth can identify and make an effort to use more inclusive language instead. By managing their own language, youth can serve as models for their peers and others in their community.
This activity introduces youth to the concept of privilege. Participants will become aware of their privilege and how their privilege enhances or hinders their access to opportunities.
The first step to meaningful philanthropy is uncovering an issue or cause that really matters to you. It’s important because, unless your heart is in it, unless you truly feel passionate about something, it’s difficult to stay committed and involved over time.
Courageous Conversations about social justice are an Everyday SEL practice. These prompts can be used to facilitate conversations that aim to build empathy and connection by inviting participants to speak and listen from the heart. Courageous Conversations take place after a stimulus, such as a video or image, is introduced. A stimulus is used to build background and stimulate thinking and discussion.