Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our middle school diversity leaders

Last weekend I had the pleasure of escorting two 7th graders and two 8th graders to the biannual NWAIS Student Diversity Leadership Retreat held at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, OR. Our student representatives applied for this honor by describing ways they felt our school could become a more inclusive and welcoming environment, and explaining their vision for making this happen.

The retreat, which is the only one of its kind in the country for students of this age, included schools from as far away as Utah and British Columbia. They came together to go on a team-building ropes course...

...participate in diversity workshops run by upper schoolers from NWAIS schools who are trained facilitators...

...and film PSAs to bring back to share with their school communities. They also got to make new friends and learn about lives and viewpoints vastly different from their own. 

The purpose of the retreat was to cultivate in them an awareness of important diversity issues that will enable them to be a force for positive change among their peers. Based on what I observed this weekend, they are off to an excellent start!

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