Introducing SV SHOUT
Seneca Valley Seniors and SHOUT Committee Members Claire McCafferty and Vivian Palmer
THIS EPISODE, WE WILL REVIEW
What SHOUT is
•What SHOUT has accomplished since it first began
•SHOUT's February focus
•SHOUT’s plans for the rest of the school year
The Poster Project
File Name: Voices E56 Claire McCafferty-Vivian Palmer (1).mp3
File Length: 00:11:10
FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)
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Introduction: Welcome to Voices, a National Award-winning podcast brought to you by the Seneca Valley School District.
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Jeff Krakoff: This is Jeff Krakoff. Today we have two guests, two seniors. One is Claire McCafferty and the other is Vivian Palmer. Thanks to you both for joining us today.
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Claire McCafferty: Thank you for having us.
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Jeff Krakoff: So, you know, diversity, equity, inclusion is a topic on everybody's minds in a lot of different places. And I know there's a program called SHOUT, which is short for Social Handprints, Overcoming Unjust Treatment, in your words, what is SHOUT all about?
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Claire McCafferty: So SHOUT, for us is about having a safe space and to promote inclusion and diversity within our schools so that every student feels represented and feels loved and appreciated so that they can be their best selves. Because we know that it's impossible to learn in an environment when you don't feel supported and you don't feel safe. And so we strive to be that for students throughout our school.
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Jeff Krakoff: OK, and Claire, how long have you been involved with SHOUT?
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Claire McCafferty: This is my second year in office.
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Jeff Krakoff: Okay. How about you, Vivian? How long have you been involved in the program?
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Vivian Palmer: This is also my second year involved in SHOUT.
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Jeff Krakoff: OK. So, you know, I know everyone can go to the website and get information on what the program is all about that. Tell me about some of the specific objectives and goals for SHOUT.
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Claire McCafferty: So like I mentioned, we strive to make our school a safe and happy place, so to do that, we kind of seek to educate the student population so that they know how to treat their peers and so that they're prepared to go into society knowing everything that they need to know. We, as students, know that sometimes our curriculum isn't, you know, teaching us everything that we need to know as far as diversity and how to include a diverse population of people.
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Claire McCafferty: So we seek to educate students on those kinds of things. And last year, a few SHOUT members were part of the initiative, with the school board to remove the imagery from our mascot. And so we have gone from there sort of hearing information from diverse groups like the Seneca Nation and interpreting that into what can we, as students do to make the school more comfortable for any person who should walk into it. And from there, we've kind of continued our purpose to the Seneca Nation by educating ourselves and by working with them to do a fundraiser, which are the shirts that we're wearing right now
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Claire McCafferty: to raise money for a local organization that supports indigenous families
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Claire McCafferty: throughout Pittsburgh.
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Vivian Palmer: Yes, that's right.
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Claire McCafferty: It's called COTRAIC.
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Jeff Krakoff: Well, tell me a little bit more about that and how can people get involved and support the fundraiser?
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Vivian Palmer: I can jump in here a little, so COTRAIC is the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center, and they do a lot of great things here in Pittsburgh. They host Pittsburgh's powwow and they're an intertribal organization. So therefore Indigenous all indigenous communities in the city of Pittsburgh, they also do a lot of great work with children. There's a lot of educational programs. In fact, that's what our fundraiser went to support was their early start program, which is for very young children.
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Vivian Palmer: I think three and under provides daycare services, sensitive education and also provides mothers and families with the resources they need to grow their family and have a supportive family.
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Jeff Krakoff: Yeah, sounds like a great effort. So are people able to still donate to this if they'd like to?
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Vivian Palmer: The fundraiser is now closed. It was in November of 2021, but you can always send a donation to a COTRAIC. They have information on how to donate and what programs they have to donate to on their website.
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Jeff Krakoff: OK. How do you spell that just so people know?
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Vivian Palmer: Yeah. So it's a contract is C O T R A I C and I believe it's a dot org website and it's just COTRAIC. Org.
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Jeff Krakoff: Got it! So if anyone was interested in supporting that definitely check out their website. You both had mentioned one of the things you do is educate other students. What are some of the ways you do that?
00:04:43:25 - 00:05:20:21
Vivian Palmer: Yeah. So this month, February is Black History Month, and that's an opportunity we're taking to educate our school. We are currently working on a Black History Month video and the topic of this video is a PSA about one black history in Pittsburgh and why we need to go beyond just the month and that black history is history and deserves to be celebrated throughout the whole year. So the point of the video is we focus on Pittsburgh specific history and we focus on specific figures relating to Black history.
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Vivian Palmer: And we have a lot of SHOUT members involved, all like taking lines. So it's been a really cool project that's in the works right now.
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Claire McCafferty: And then another thing that we were doing is something we call a poster project, which is featured unknown figure, .seemingly unknown figures and social justice movements and highlighting their work and how much they've done just to let students in our school know about some of these unknown figures
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Jeff Krakoff: who are some of the I'm sure I don't know who they are. That's why they're unknown. But give us an example of one or two of those figures and what have they done?
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Vivian Palmer: Yeah, so one of the figures is Sylvia Rivera, who was one of the Stonewall activists and during the Stonewall riots. And she's a transgender woman and has continued or had continued her advocacy from a very young age and throughout her entire life and really started a lot of the transgender rights movements was a part of that foundational effort. So that's one of the figures that we highlighted.
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Claire McCafferty: in another part of the poster project, as we've been able to bring in posters from an organization called Amplify dot org, which features interactive posters. So when you use a certain app that you can download on the App Store, it makes the posters come alive so that the social justice, the people who are featured in the posters are actually telling you about their own story. And the the illustration actually starts to move and, so you're able to hear it from themselves about what they've done to change their community.
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Jeff Krakoff: How cool will have to check that out? So you mentioned what you have going on this month. What are some of the plans for the rest of the year?
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Vivian Palmer: So yeah, our biggest plan right now is we're working with other clubs at Seneca to do a Solidarity Week. And the idea behind solidarity is that it's a week in end of April, maybe early May that will promote allyship to the LGBTQ community at Seneca because we know that there's a lot of allies at the school, but we want to make their voices louder for the people who need them. And so we have we're working with other clubs to see how they'll spread this message of inclusion.
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Vivian Palmer: And one of the pieces that we're working on now is a community art project where students will are and students and staff are going to be asked to submit quotes if they have them that affirm or relate to the LGBTQ experience. They don't necessarily have to be specific to the LGBTQ to experience. But we're looking for something that affirms that, and these quotes are all going to make up a collage in this collage will spell out more valid because we want students to have a constant reminder of the fact that they are valid and so that they constantly feel represented within the school and not just sometimes
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Jeff Krakoff: Ok. About how many students are involved in the SHOUT program?
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Vivian Palmer: We have we have about five officers on our board, and I believe our membership is around 40 members right now, that's
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Claire McCafferty: 40 or 50, something like that.
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Jeff Krakoff: OK? Is it been growing since it began?
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Claire McCafferty: I think it definitely has. It began kind of in the middle of COVID, so it was kind of hard to get things started in a digital age. But now that we're full back in person, I definitely think that the club has grown exponentially.
00:09:07:11 - 00:09:25:12
Jeff Krakoff: OK, one last question for each of you. You've both. This is your second year. You're both seniors. Can you think of one thing to share that you've learned and/or will take away from the experience of being involved in SHOUT as you move onward to college and and after that?
00:09:27:05 - 00:10:03:19
Vivian Palmer: Yeah, I can jump in first. I think definitely leadership has been my main takeaway because SHOUT is such a big organization. It's a big goals, it's hard. It's it can be very hard thing to conceptualize because it's very easy to spitball ideas and talk about things. But how do you translate ideas into action? And I think that's been what I've learned the most is how do we translate ideas to action and making those actionable items and actually being able to do what you want to do that has been probably my biggest learning.
00:10:04:06 - 00:10:35:03
Claire McCafferty: Yeah, I think mine is probably seeing the heart of an issue as the people. I think it's kind of easy as such driven people, and it's people who are so passionate about what they do. It's kind of easy to get caught up in, you know, seeing a goal and wanting to reach it instead of looking at who it affects and the people that you can help. And the stories that you're able to tell and the people that you can affect. I know that that's something that I'll take with me and that will influence everything I do going forward.
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Jeff Krakoff: Yeah, great stuff. Great lessons learned. So again, I want to thank Claire McCafferty and Vivian Palmer for talking with us today about their experience and SHOUT, which is again, Social Handprints Overcoming Unjust Treatment. If you'd like to learn more about it. Just go to the district website under the Our District tab and you'll see information about Seneca Valley's Diversity Committee and Student Diversity Committee there. Thanks again, and good luck with the rest of the year.
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Claire McCafferty: Thank you.
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Vivian Palmer: Thank you.
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Jeff Krakoff: All right. Take care.