Decolonizing the Calendar

Decolonizing the Calendar

In this community-building activity, students interrogate the ways in which the dominant culture--read as cis-het, primarily white, primarily male, and typically abled—prioritize certain holidays while ignoring others celebrated by underrepresented people.

Activity title: Decolonizing the Calendar

Author: Harriett Jernigan

Course: PWR 1 or PWR 2

Activity length and schedule: This activity can be done at any time during the quarter, but works particularly well toward the beginning of the quarter.

Activity goals: 

  • To help students learn more about each other’s cultures and communities
  • To determine due dates
  • To connect to on-campus events that celebrate the holidays
  • To raise awareness about how dominant cultural norms operate in everyday texts

Activity details:  Students compare a standard calendar to the Stanford calendar to see how the two overlap in terms of holidays and other days of significance.  They then assemble holidays important to them that might not have been featured in those other calendars, discussing (synchronously or asynchronously) these new additions with a small group. Together, they use Jamboard to help create a new calendar for the class that incorporates those holidays and other significant days that are important to the class as a whole.

See student-facing instructions (with some editorial comments) here.