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Joint BCIL/Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series: The Power of Your Voice 
by Sarah Bishop, BCIL Extracurricular Innovator and Collaborator

On October 7, over 130 students (Grades 6-12) and faculty joined two powerful women in media to discuss the power of using your voice to create change. Noel Heard ’02 is a law school graduate who works as the contract manager at MACRO, a multi-platform media company that represents the voice and perspectives of persons of color. Attorney and author Eboni K. Williams has emerged as a powerful media voice with national anchoring or correspondent roles on CNN, Fox News, REVOLT TV, and CBS News.

During the event, Heard and Williams gave advice to students about how they can make a difference in their own community and challenged them to think about how they can spot media bias, cultivate their own opinions, and use their platforms to make a difference.

Many faculty members found connections in their curriculum and encouraged their students to attend. According to AP US Government teacher Hasani Sinclair, the Speaker Series reinforced an understanding of “the media as a linkage institution connecting citizens and government, including how it helps to set a political agenda and shapes the discussion of issues.” The most memorable part of the Speaker Series for him was “hearing that bias in the media sometimes comes from the editor's desk. We all knew that media networks were biased, but it was strangely satisfying and vindicating to hear people say that networks' editors will explicitly state that their network has a certain framing of issues that has to be reflected in their on-air personnel.” During the live challenge, students participated in an activity where they reflected on media bias in several newspaper headlines. 

Van-Anh Tran’s American Government students reflected on their experience:

“My breakout room talked a lot about bias and how we see many biased news articles. I learned that to get unbiased news, it is helpful to get news from a wide variety of sources. I really liked the meeting because I feel I am more qualified to read the news and vote.” —Eli W. ’25

“I already know that everyone has differing opinions, but I was grateful to learn that - as long as you are respectful - you should share your opinion. It doesn’t matter if everyone else disagrees or not, your opinion always has value and meaning.” —Lev. F ’25 

“You should always voice your opinion and should not be afraid or apprehensive to do so. If you never voice your opinion you will never be able to see change happen. But you should never scream at the person if you disagree, you should always talk respectfully and be patient with them. Even if you can’t vote there are many ways to help and use your voice. You can use social media and talk about your views on current issues, have conversations with your families about current events, you can encourage others to vote, etc.” —Shreem C. ’25

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