The mission of Ethnic Studies at BELA is to center the histories of women of color through literature, writing, and art. We believe that empowering our young women is rooted in exploring our identities while also fostering a critical consciousness in all of our students. Through projects such as the salt. Art Gallery and Writer’s Cafe students explored how factors of identity shape lived experiences while also critiquing systems of power and oppression. In its inaugural year, #BELAEthnicStudies co-created the first phase of BELA’s Women of Color Archive---a digital space that will house creative projects, writing, and oral histories authored and conducted by the class of 2021.
Wellness at BELA is both unique and cutting edge in it’s vision and content bridging body and spirit, so that keeping healthy is lifelong and ever evolving, much like the BELA young woman. Weekly classes are a hybrid of classroom lessons & discussions and creative physical activity. Topics range on issues related to sexual health, mental health and relationships in addition to exploring ballet, circuit training and self defense.
Our Go Grow program provides our students with opportunities to pursue their passions in various fields. From learning to cook their favorite recipes to showcasing their creations from our makerspace, all of our students are provided with programming that allows them to learn and explore topics outside of our academic scheduling.
The current offerings are: Anime, Student Government, BELA Sorors STEP, Drawing, BELA Bakers, ScriptEd, Just Rock Djing, #BELAInfluencers, Volleyball, Dance, Sewing, Speech and Debate, and Pinterest.
One of our key design elements at BELA is to provide students with holistic support throughout their high school experience. Through our Leadership Academy, groups of no more than 12 students are assigned a mentor teacher that follows them from 9th-12th grade. Their mentor teacher becomes the liaison between home and school, keeping families up to date with students progress and upcoming events. Mentor teachers also invite families to BELA several times a year through our Winter & Spring showcase, and in facilitating Student Led Conferences (SLCs) which are held every trimester. Lastly, Leadership Academy provides each of the following programs once a week: