Madison Miller / staff photo                                Bellevue School District hosted its third annual SHOUT Experience at Bellevue College.

Madison Miller / staff photo Bellevue School District hosted its third annual SHOUT Experience at Bellevue College.

BSD holds third annual SHOUT Experience conference at Bellevue College

The annual conference hosted over 300 female students in the Bellevue School District.

It was a day several Bellevue School District (BSD) young women had been looking forward to all year.

For many, this was their third time attending the SHOUT Experience conference by the Bellevue School District. SHOUT (Sistahs Having Outstanding Uniqueness Together), was designed for female students that racially identify as African, black, Latina, Native American or a mix of any, who are in grades 7-12 in the Bellevue School District. However, all students, no matter their racial background, are welcome.

The SHOUT Experience is a part of BSD’s BOOM & SHOUT Experience. The BOOM Experience is held for male students in the winter, and the SHOUT Experience is held for female students in the spring.

Freedom Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at Lake Hills Elementary, said she was happy to see so many students at the event.

“It makes me so happy to see so many strong black and brown young women coming together,” she said.

As a teacher of color, Johnson said she’s often the only person of color on staff. While that ratio is improving some, she said she hopes it changes.

“Our experience as women transcend our differences,” she said. “We need to push for change.”

Hosted at Bellevue College, the all-day conference welcomed more than 300 BSD female students.

The day began with a welcome from Christian Paige, an equity specialist for the school district, in the cafeteria. Destiny Roberts, a hip-hop and neo-soul influenced singer performed songs from her upcoming album. According to Roberts, she’s intentional with her lyrics and wants to inspire girls to be the best they can be.

“I won’t stop until I make a difference,” she said. “You don’t have to dumb yourself down for anybody.”

Like at BOOM’s last event, a Native American representative spoke before students to educate them about Native American history.

Mary Wilber, the Native American education coordinator for BSD, Lake Washington School District and Northshore School District, shared how it’s important — as women — to share their story.

“As an indigenous woman, we’re still fighting the fight… I fight everyday to share my story,” wilber said. “People need to understand who you are… It’s up to you to share your story.”

Following the presentations, the students were divided to go to specific workshops and keynote speeches.

The two groups, middle school students and high school students, attended workshops and keynote speeches specifically designed for them.

The keynote address to the high school students was given by Krischanna Roberson. Roberson, a former BSD school board director and supervisor of Equity and Student Success, also launched the BOOM & SHOUT Experience conferences.

“Seeing you all stirs feelings of pride, beauty and inspiration,” she said during her keynote.

Through her keynote address, Roberson illustrated how a person’s culture — their story — help define them. Though her past was filled with failures and setbacks, Roberson said it was those experiences that got her to where she is now.

“What are we shouting for? We’re shouting for ourselves, each other and our culture,” she said. “You define yourselves. Stand in who you are and be great.”

Paige closed the keynote by thanking Roberson.

“You are one of the strongest women I know,” he said. “I want to affirm you, and all of you, for who you are and who you’re becoming.”

For more information regarding BOOM & SHOUT Experiences, go online to https://bsd405.org/departments/equity/shout/.


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Destiny Roberts, a Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul influenced singer performed songs from her upcoming album at the third annual SHOUT Experience. Madison Miller / staff photo

Destiny Roberts, a Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul influenced singer performed songs from her upcoming album at the third annual SHOUT Experience. Madison Miller / staff photo

Native American Education Coordinator, Mary Wilber, tells students why it’s important for them to share their story. Madison Miller / staff photo

Native American Education Coordinator, Mary Wilber, tells students why it’s important for them to share their story. Madison Miller / staff photo

“Seeing you all stirs feelings of pride, beauty and inspiration,” Krischanna Roberson said during her keynote at BSD’s SHOUT Experience. Madison Miller / staff photo

“Seeing you all stirs feelings of pride, beauty and inspiration,” Krischanna Roberson said during her keynote at BSD’s SHOUT Experience. Madison Miller / staff photo

Krischanna Roberson addresses BSD high school girls at SHOUT. Madison Miller / staff photo

Krischanna Roberson addresses BSD high school girls at SHOUT. Madison Miller / staff photo

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