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A Seat at the Table: Big/Little Sisters meet for art installation prep

As part of Big/Little Sis Day at Columbus School for Girls, students learned about advocacy efforts undertaken by former New York State Representative Shirley Chisholm and how her work could inspire them to create change in their own communities. 

The information was given as more than just a history lesson: Next month, CSG will unveil a school-wide art installation of folding chairs organized by the Center for Girls' and Young Women's Leadership to demonstrate the importance of giving all women a proverbial seat at the table in creating change at the local, state, and national levels. The perimeter of our campus will be marked with folding chairs painted by students to represent issues about which they are passionate. 

The installation is inspired by Chisholm’s quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” 

Today, students learned a bit about how advocating for access works, as well as about the legacy of Chisholm. Through a short skit, students saw firsthand how one might literally bring a chair to the table to be included in important discussions. 

Later, Little Sisters met with Big Sisters and were asked to consider what issues they care about and how they would like to use their voices when they are at the table. Together, Big Sisters helped their Little Sisters brainstorm how they will design their folding chairs.  

Over 400 uniquely designed chairs that capture every student’s voice at CSG will line the campus on October 11, on the International Day of the Girl Child.