Intersections creates an open dialogue for students


Natalie Dosmond '21

Senior Olivia Andrews created Intersections to spark meaningful conversations within the Sacred Heart Greenwich community.

Intersections is a conversational group at Sacred Heart Greenwich that designates a space for students to learn about new topics and discuss issues about which they are passionate.  Senior Olivia Andrews began Intersections her sophomore year to hear the diverse array of student and faculty voices at Sacred Heart.

Olivia created Intersections as a space for the community to explore social justice issues such as racial representation, environmentalism, and gender.  The core message of Intersections connects to Goal Three of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria, a social awareness which impels to action, allowing students to become informed on current topics in the world and express opinions on these issues.

Following the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Liturgy January 17, the Intersections group met with Mrs. Angela Lewis, daughter of the late civil rights activist Mr. James Earl Chaney.  Courtesy of Ms. Ellyn Stewart

Seniors Sally Carter and Kate Murray, junior Alana Frederick, sophomores Kayla Malcolm-Joseph and Isabella Stewart, and freshmen Josie Orr, Kristin Morrow, and Genevieve Wichmann are also part of the Intersections leadership team along with Olivia.

Kayla uses Intersections as a platform to speak about a variety of social justice issues.

“Through the encouragement of my peers and the teachers that attend Intersections, I gained a new found confidence that not only helps me speak up during our discussion, but also whenever I need to,” Kayla said.

                                                                  The teacher moderators of Intersections are Ms. Angela Carstensen, Director of Library and Information Services, Dr. William Mottolese, Upper School English Teacher and Chair of English Department, Ms. Judith Scinto, Upper School Faculty and Spanish and Global Scholars Program Coordinator, and Ms. Ellyn Stewart, Broadcast Journalism Studio Director and Broadcast Journalism Teacher. 

Olivia’s most memorable meeting was this past fall, where the group discussed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) awareness. 

“I was honestly shocked and impressed by the level of interest students had in participating,” Olivia said.  “From a simple political cartoon as our media spark, the club got into such an amazing dialogue that we ended up extending it into a second meeting.” 

Intersections used a quote for the media spark for the gender equality meeting.  Courtesy of Olivia Andrews ’20

Olivia begins each meeting with “a media spark” such as a short clip, image, or article, which will open the conversation.

“One spark that meant a lot to me was a video of girls sharing their experiences with having negative body image standards,” Kayla said.  “It was really disheartening to hear girls hating on themselves, and I’m no stranger to hearing similar comments in the halls.”

Moving forward, Olivia wishes to use film as a medium to facilitate dialogues similar to those that Intersections has initiated at Sacred Heart.

“In communities that are either overwhelmed with different opinions or function like an echo-chamber, the meditative act of viewing art as a form of communication leads people to quietly reflect before expressing themselves,” Olivia said. 

Featured Image by Natalie Dosmond ’21