How anonymous submissions can foster inclusion: The @bipocatcasti Instagram account

Amplifying BIPOC voices at Casti

Castilleja%27s+BIPOC+Instagram+that+was+created+in+summer+2020+has+been+showcasing+the+voices+of+Castilleja%27s+BIPOC+community+

Castilleja BIPOC

Castilleja’s BIPOC Instagram that was created in summer 2020 has been showcasing the voices of Castilleja’s BIPOC community

This past summer an Instagram account was created in order to highlight the stories of the Castilleja BIPOC community. Since then, the account has garnered 740 followers and has been a topic of conversation for Casti students, staff, and faculty. Due to the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and with Justice being the theme for this year, there has been an increase in the amount of DEI in the curriculum. I could tell an immediate difference in the faculty and culture at the school when I returned as a senior.
The Instagram page has brought up many questions, one of them being, “Why BIPOC,” as it is a term that is unfamiliar for some. BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and is used instead of just POC (people of color) to highlight that Black and Indigenous people and communities are disproportionately discriminated against. Now, this topic brings up the specific conversation of minorities, and each community’s struggles, which can be difficult to discuss. Another opinion being brought up is that the Instagram page is not actually helping the community and that it is a space for students to call out specific teachers and/or departments. My thoughts on this perspective are that I honestly think if someone is not comfortable speaking face to face, submitting anonymously is a way to feel like someone is listening without having to go through uncomfortable, and sometimes unproductive, conversations.
Casti’s BIPOC Instagram page is a great way to start bringing awareness to the community on the individual experiences of BIPOC community members. For me personally, submitting to the account is a way for me to share my experience and hopefully help other community members feel like they are not alone. Submitting to the page is also nice because sometimes I do not feel comfortable directly speaking to the person who made me feel uncomfortable, so anonymously submitting my story is a good way for me to let out how I feel in a safe place.
In a perfect world, every BIPOC at Casti would feel comfortable bringing up their experience with the person who made that ignorant comment or made them feel uncomfortable, and I think this is the community that Casti should strive to be. While many people feel that the BIPOC Instagram page is a way to denounce and discredit the Casti community, I would argue that instead, it allows us to grow. I think that it is okay that we have the Instagram page as a way for people to share their stories while staying anonymous, and I think that it is also good that students are becoming more comfortable bringing up microaggressions in a classroom setting.