Nashoba Brooks School and The Robbins House join for an inspired Concord_Portal connection with Resonate in Kigali, Rwanda.

On Saturday, February 24, Nashoba Brooks School joined members of The Robbins House to facilitate a powerful conversation with university students in the Rwandan group Resonate, an organization that strives to unlock the leadership potential of women and girls through confidence building workshops and storytelling.
Members of the Concord community—including Nashoba Brooks teaching employees, students and parents—gathered for the two-hour exchange. Storytelling for Leadership, a participatory and personal tool that Resonate uses to build confidence and leadership skills with participants, has three distinct parts: an introduction (story background), a challenge, and a focus on actions to overcome the challenge. The Resonate method also encourages women to use “emotion and physical gestures” to enhance their stories. Participants are encouraged to tell their stories in three minutes.
Maria Madison from The Robbins House told the story of Ellen Garrison, a woman of African descent who was born in The Robbins House in 1823. She went on to become a scholar, teacher, and activist. Ellen challenged segregation in a train station one month after the first Civil Rights Act. “She wrote about her experiences and found the courage to test the law, even though she could have been physically harmed,” said Madison. Although her case was dismissed, Ellen went on to write about her experiences and continued her fight against injustice that is now an important part of African-American history.
The women from Resonate spoke candidly about the genocide that scarred generations of people in their country, where an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994. The women explained the cultural barriers and belief systems that had silenced women and girls, and how Resonate has enabled them to overcome obstacles—including fears of public speaking, and financial issues related to paying for education.
For Nashoba Brooks School, the session was powerful and underscored the importance of conversations brought to campus by the Concord_Portal from around the world. Head of School Danielle Heard spoke about the School’s focus on empowering students and girls from an early age to find their voices and use them to have a positive impact in the world.
The women from Resonate spoke positively about the healing they have felt both individually and as a country. They are proud of their county. They feel safe. They love their President. The future is bright and theirs is a story to be told.
The Concord_Portal will be situated in the Achtmeyer Gallery at Nashoba Brooks School until March 8 and has already connected students with Iraq, Mexico City, Palestine, Myanmar, and other parts of the world.

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Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.