MAP’s Summer: An Anti-Racism Campaign

The story of how and why the Mitty Advocacy Project began its first ever summer session.

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Two words: George Floyd. And then, like an aftershock on our campus, Expose Mitty; Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Police Officer sparked a nationwide movement for racial justice, and the widespread hashtag #ExposeMitty challenged our own community to confront its shortcomings in the treatment of Black and Brown students. As all of this unfolded, the Mitty Advocacy Project faced another two words: “What Now?”

“I felt naive and guilty that I hadn’t known the extent of everything that was going on, but I also felt a desire to do something to rectify it,” reflects MAP co-President senior Emma Barbazette. Since its founding in 2008, MAP has never launched a campaign specifically combatting racism, though it would be addressed in the context of other topics such as criminal justice reform. As #ExposeMitty shed light on just how much was unknown to many in the Mitty community, MAP, like the rest of the school, was pushed to further immerse themselves in racial justice. 

MAP’s immediate response began in June with an early morning Zoom meeting—moderator Mrs. Walker was still in the midst of yearbook distributions on campus as the conversation started. Due to the urgency of the situation, the time frame for these initial meetings was kept open. As they continued to spring up, a structure of optional weekly meetings began to crystallize—it would soon become MAP’s first ever summer meeting program. The Steering Committee, MAP’s team of leaders, gathered resources and discussed both the stories they were reading on social media and the direction they wanted to take their response. As ideas solidified, MAP’s Anti-Racism campaign took shape. 

What emerged was a series of blog posts, Instagram stories spreading helpful resources, a Carrd website of relevant links and information, and a live feed sharing legislation related to racial justice. The goal was not simply to take action, but also to make sure they took the right approach.

As MAP co-President and senior Connor Martin, explains, “It would be destructive to speak for the Black community rather than allowing space for them to speak on the issues that are actually affecting them.”

Ultimately, MAP positioned themselves to be allies to the Black community, seeking to amplify voices in the Black community in order to educate themselves and others on the racial injustices in our society and how to fight against them.  

As MAP worked to spread awareness, it was clear that a lack of familiarity with the complexities surrounding racism posed the greatest challenge to the Steering Committee, just as it did to many in our community and society. As Emma describes, “It definitely took a lot of discussion and contributions from many different people to come to our conclusion. Overall, we wanted to make sure that what we were doing was helpful and impactful in the best way that we could do it.”