EJC Day: Be Good To Each Other
“Don’t you put makeup on before the game?”
This was the question NFL Films Presents asked Natalie Randolph ’98, the School’s director of Equality, Justice, and Community (EJC), back in 2013 when they arrived at DC’s Calvin Coolidge High School to film her for four days. Randolph first made national headlines in 2010, when she became the only female head high school football coach in the country.
Despite her success on the field, the producers were more concerned about her shoes and appearance.
“No,” Randolph said. “I don’t wear makeup.” Randolph also didn’t change her khakis and sneakers after teaching five sections of science. So, in an effort to play up her gender, the producers borrowed lipstick and blush from a school receptionist—the same receptionist who lent them a pair of ballet flats, which were filmed for b-roll to emphasize the coach’s femininity.
Randolph recounted this and other stories as the keynote speaker at the Upper School’s EJC Day on January 31. She spoke about becoming “the reluctant coach” and how she managed her identity in three worlds—among her students, the media, and her fellow teachers and coaches.
“My identity is at the center of this,” she said of the media attention she received. “And it was uncomfortable.”
The keynote was part of a day designed to get Upper Schoolers thinking about how they interact with each other and how they get along as a community. The day also featured wellness activities to promote mental health and student-led workshops to explore identity, such as “Women in Revolutions,” “Investigating Masculinity in Hip-Hop,” “Intersectionality Between Cross-Cultural Identities,” ”The Immigrant and First-Generation Experience,” “Our (Non)Religious Selves,” and “They/Them/Their: Our Non-Binary History."
“This is only one day in our school year,” Upper School EJC Coordinator Hayes Davis said at the day’s opening, “but I hope that rather than the beginning and end of this work, we make this part of our ongoing work.”
“I tried to put the ‘C’ back in EJC," he said. "Because this is work we can all share if we recognize that everyone in a community represents diversity in some way. The work is important."
“We should try to be good to each other. The best way to be in community is to have more conversations together.”
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