This week’s #HumansofIDP are Jeannie Yamazaki ‘21 and Zara Schreiber ‘21. These two co-facilitate a dialogue about race this semester. Here’s what they have to say about IDP and each other:
I do IDP because I think it can make the world a better place. I think this because I *know* that IDP has made me a better person (and how do you change the world if not by changing yourself first?). I’m better able to communicate my thoughts, feelings, and experiences, whether the conversation is about social identity or housing options in Ithaca. I feel greater ownership and awareness of my identities–privileged and less privileged alike. As a result, I’m a better advocate for myself and others. My time with IDP has made me a more thoughtful and confident person, and I’m so thankful for being here.
And I know “make the world a better place” is a pretty big dream (some might even say naive), but I think we’re in the business of dreaming big. I hope and believe that slowly and surely, we can make dialogue commonplace and meaningful communication a norm. And the outcome? A campus, and a world, of equity, dignity, and respect.
I joined IDP because it gives me a chance to explore my own social identities, discover and push back against my own role in structural systems of oppression, and learn to effectively engage and communicate with others. Beyond that, IDP is such a friendly and welcoming space for all different types of people and provides a much needed service on campus of embracing difference and spreading dialogue.
What is your favorite thing about your co-facilitator?
Oh my gosh I love Zara so much I’m going to do this as one of those terrible acrostic poems they would make me do in elementary school.
Z is for Zany. We have spent so much time laughing at nothing, and I cherish those hours so much. The combined wackiness we manage to achieve is truly astonishing.
A is for aware of self (self-aware, for those not building acrostic poems). Being a facilitator is not an easy job, and being the agent facilitator is no exception. Zara has shown our class how she is doing the difficult work of challenging her assumptions and working to understand how being white shapes her sense of self and her perspective. Her self-awareness is critical to this process.
R is for reliable. With Zara as my co, I know that what needs to get done, will get done. She always has my back, and I strive to support her just as much as she supports me.
A is for authentic. From day 1 of our partnership, Zara has never been anything but herself. I’m a firm believer in the importance of vulnerability in our work, and Zara puts her full self on the table, and never with a caveat or apology. I hope I can be more like her in this respect.
My zany, (self) aware, reliable, authentic co (who is these things and so much more), thank you for a wonderful semester so far, and I look forward to the continuation of this dynamic duo ❤
Jeannie is enthusiastic, funny, and incredibly friendly. She really listens when others speak, and it shows in the way she interacts with others, always making them feel heard and valued. She is thoughtful and kind, and always lights up any room she enters. It’s hard to choose one favorite thing about Jeannie because she has so many amazing qualities, and I’m so happy I got her as my co!