By Joe Christy, Director of Student Engagement
Middle and Upper school affinity groups have officially started for the 2016-17 school year.
On Wednesday, September 21, Dylan Curran ’18 led the MS gathering, where he invited students and faculty to share their name, race or ethnicity, and preferred gender pronouns before introducing an icebreaker, Where the Wind Blows. On Friday, September 23, several seniors led the Upper School groups, guiding conversations about why students attended these functions and asked for suggestions for future meetings.
These voluntary gatherings provide a safe place for students to explore and affirm identity, share experiences, build community, and discuss current events. They encourage participation in discussions that involve race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, gender, religion, sexuality, and other identifiers that occur in the classroom, advisory, and full community events. For some, meeting with a group of peers who share an important part of their identity fosters confidence and a sense of belonging. These groups help students develop their voice around issues that often cause discomfort and avoidance among many of their classmates and adults while providing them with leadership opportunities.
UPCOMING EVENTS: As part of the Hiatt Center Institute, Liz Skinner and I will host an activity for the classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019 on Friday, October 7. We are planning similar functions for MS students, the class of 2020, and parents so stay tuned!