A: Social identifiers are categories of designations by which people describe themselves and others.
The "BIG 8" Social Identifiers
- Ability (physical and mental)
- Sexual Orientation
- Socio-economic Status (Class)
Additional social identifiers
- Appearance and Body Image
- Family Origin and Family Structure
- Geographic/ Regional Background
- Learning Style/Behavior
- Academic/Social Achievement
- Beliefs (political, social, religious)
A: DAIS meetings are open to students of all backgrounds, in grades 8 - 12. Students from independent, public and parochial schools are welcome.
A: Students meet twice monthly. At the smaller Executive Committee (EC) meetings, a topic of interest is chosen, and developed. In the larger General meetings, these topics are introduced through 'icebreakers' and discussed in depth, in groups led by trained student facilitators. "Community Norms" have been created to provide a "road map" for approaching discussion. The community norms are applied during the discussion and as a result, students are able to speak freely in a safe space and in a manner that is not hurtful or harmful.
A: Topics are chosen by student members of the Executive Committee...anyone in grades 8 - 12 who is interested and willing to represent their school and serve in the decision-making process of DAIS. Topics focus on being aware and knowledgeable about issues having to do with diversity and the eight major social identifiers, including gender, religion, ability, sexual orientation, race, age, ethnicity and socio-economic class, as well as additional social identifiers. Topics also focus on subjects that are relevant to teens and what is important in their lives, such as dating, school, community and family environment and current events.