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This project developed through a partnership with SJSU Communication Studies faculty member, Sarah McGaffey.  This performance is a collaboration of individual student performances acknowledging the complexity of privilege in their lives. During the fall and spring semester, SJSU students from McGaffey’s COMM 21 Performing Culture and Society course performed specific scenes curated by the students based on their own personal experiences surrounding racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.

During the fall semester, students from Burnett Middle School engaged with SJSU students and their performances. This past semester, students from Lowell Elementary School were able to view these performances followed by a very proactive discussion regarding what they saw, how they feel about it, and what they have learned. After this event, students were able to discuss their own experiences with discrimination and further dissect the privileges they also hold.

By the Numbers | 2018-19

44 SJSU students engaged

200 residents engaged

486 hours of service

$11,999 value

Project Impact

  • 96% of Burnett Middle students felt that they had learned about social issues
  • 95% of Lowell Elementary students felt that they had learned about social issues
  • 75% of Lowell Elementary students enjoyed the event
  • 74% of Lowell Elementary students were very certain about going to college

Community Voices

“When you look at someone, you shouldn’t assume who they are.”
–Lowell Elementary 5th Grade student

“I learned that everything we have is essentially a privilege and that differences aren’t always disabilities.”
–Burnett Middle 8th Grade student

“Not to assume things, treat people the same, we are equals.”
–Lowell Elementary 5th Grade student

“It’s time to use our power to help others. We can’t control other people, we can control ourselves.”
–Professor Sarah McGaffery, COMM 21 Instructor & Communication Studies Faculty