StandWithUs Guest Speaker: Combating Antisemitism
Whitfield Upper School students attended a special assembly on May 20, 2023 and welcomed Hailey Stern, Midwest High School Regional Manager for StandWithUs, a non-partisan educational organization dedicated to fighting antisemitism. During her presentation, Ms. Stern talked about the history of antisemitism, the rise of contemporary antisemitism, and how we can stand up against this form of hatred. The assembly is part of Whitfield’s commitment to cultural competence and citizenship, two of our Habits of Mind and Heart.
After the assembly, 10th -12th graders returned to their advisories to debrief the presentation. Director of Equity & Inclusion Anna Warbelow and Director of Health & Wellness Ginny Fendell led all 9th graders through a discussion of the presentation and how to apply what they learned to being good upstanders. Ms. Stern joined the 9th grade discussion. After school on Thursday, the Jewish Student Union hosted a special meeting for students to speak to Ms. Stern in a smaller setting.
Earlier this spring, senior Ilana Boyer, an intern at StandWithUs this year, proposed the idea of having Ms. Stern present to faculty and staff. After connecting with Ms. Stern and learning more about the incredible work she does with high school students, Dr. Warbelow decided to invite her to speak with Upper School students as well as provide professional development for faculty and staff on Friday afternoon. Sophomore Audrey Roberts, who will intern with StandWithUs next year, shared her experiences as a Jewish youth, her own encounters with antisemitism, and the difference faculty and staff make when they speak up.