Mirman goes beyond books, opens 'Human Library'

10/19/17 03:14:pm
| Category: Human Library

A "Human Library" is an interactive experience where readers hear the personal narratives of an individual who acts as a human book centralized around a specific theme. The "books" are people who differ from readers in life experiences, perspectives, appearance and beliefs. The goal is to help challenge stereotypes by changing the single stories we may have about people within and beyond our immediate communities.

Mirman kicked off this campaign with an all-school assembly featuring the stories of three faculty members. “As you listen to each story," began Campaign Chair Brittani Fowlin, "I encourage you to think about what resonates with you. What are some stories you haven’t heard before? What are some stories that you may think about that you may want to talk to a friend about at lunch or in the classroom?”

Throughout October and November, the theme of the Human Library Campaign is "citizenship," and the content of the assembly reflected that. "Citizenship is defined on the Internet as being 'the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen," shared US4 student Otto D. "But our definition is someone who is part of a community and is actively trying to better that community."

Facilitated by Upper School 4 student leaders who first explored the topic of citizenship and introduced the guests, students then moderated a panel of faculty members: Director of Music Programs Nicolás Kello, Upper School Spanish Teacher Gian Molero, and Mandarin Teacher Dan Song.

In addition to sharing their personal citizenship stories, they all came prepared with a touchstone that represented their journeys. Ms. Song showed a brief clip of many of her students singing "The Moon Represents My Heart," a song she grew up hearing, before leading the student body in a round of the song in Mandarin. Ms. Molero got the crowd dancing to celebrate the music and culture of her native Venezuela, and Mr. Kello's closing song, "If I Had a Hammer," emphasized a hope for unity.

Throughout the next two months, the Human Library Campaign will feature a diverse range of “books” as they share their personal citizenship narratives with students during LEAP, assemblies, community times, and advisory. Student journalists will interview and share the stories they find in our Newsroom. Additionally, the Human Library page on our website will be continuously updated with the stories of our "books" along with recommended resources from our Librarian, Ms. Robin Raval.