Four videos have been released in conjunction with the Equity Backpack Project at Abbotsford’s Eugene Reimer Middle School.
The videos address the themes found in the backpacks: What is equity without a promise? What is equity without identity? What is equity without reflection? What is equity without belonging?
The backpack project began early this year, led by teacher Nerlap Sidhu, and involved 60 Grade 6 students creating “backpacks” out of cardboard.
The goal was to teach the students about equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
The outside of the packs were decorated with students’ promises to themselves and the world such as “I promise to help others and feel empathy by connecting with everyone’s story.”
They also included baby photos of themselves to “celebrate their story,” Sidhu said.
The students also participated in five more activities – including “equity art” – for the inside of the backpacks.
The project has since grown across Abbotsford and at other school districts in B.C. and beyond.
It also involved students conducting videotaped interviews about equity and inclusion with guests such as Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun, police chief Mike Serr, school district superintendent Kevin Godden, UBC and SFU students, police officers, professors, parents, teachers and more.
Numerous schools also participated, including several in Abbotsford, as well as in Langley, Powell River and elsewhere.
The students spent all of April and May creating the series, with the help of Levings, Jaxon Orth, Shelly Sangha, Heidi Buhler, Sukh Bains and Deirdre Degagne.
“We hope that these videos capture our students’ (and) community members’ voices in an authentic way which leads to building bridges between cultures,” Sidhu said.