Self Label Day marks beginning of February “I AM” initiative

Self Label Day marks beginning of February I AM initiative


[quote]By Nikki Roberts
Online Writer
Photo by Jack Heerhold[/quote]

February is the I AM initiative month, for which a multitude of clubs and organizations have activities, workshops, and other events prepared to aid in proclaiming individual diversity throughout the school.

Co-coordinator and English teacher Robyn West describes “I AM” as a way for students to accept and encourage individuality. “The I AM initiative is a month long celebration of identity and diversity. The goal of it is encourage students to recognize their own self worth and to embrace it personally. Negativity is popular and it has to start with you saying ‘I’m awesome!’ and that enables you to also tell that to others,” West said.

To kick off the I AM initiative, Self Label Day took place Monday in the commons, as well as throughout the halls of the school. Self Label Day is all about students beginning to define themselves, their passions, and realizing the factors that make them unique. Colorful posters displaying slogans such as “I am creative!”, “I am strong!”, and “I am me!” were posted on the walls. Many students wore bracelets that had similar personal statements, which were passed out during all lunch periods in the commons by students and teachers involved in organizing the initiative.

One of the students who volunteered to hand out the “I AM…” wristbands was Eli Dickson, the president of Gay Straight Alliance. “The I AM initiative is important to me because at our school, people need to be aware of how special they are and how different they are. When I think about Self Label Day, the most important part is in the name- ‘self label’. What do you call yourself? Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. When you begin to believe in what you call yourself, other people begin to see it, too. When you believe it, you begin to act out the life you want to live,” Dickson said.

If you missed out on Self Label Day, don’t worry; the I AM initiative team has plenty of activities planned for the duration of February. First Wave, a spoken word group from the University of Wisconsin, will be performing and offering workshops on Feb. 12. Other events include a Latin Night hosted by OLAS, Food and Feminism presented by the Feminist Society, and I AM monologues hosted by GSA.  A full calendar of events can be found here.