Expanding Our Racial Literacy
The description of Howard Stevenson’s keynote at the Student Diversity Leadership Conference stated: “Despite our best efforts to avoid the subject, much like ignoring the elephant in the room, racism and racial stereotyping continue to haunt American society—and American schools, particularly predominantly white schools. Racial stereotypes, Dr. Stevenson explains, undermine the quality of relationships between students and their teachers and among students within the classroom, and lay the groundwork for the academic underachievement that helps gives rise to the stereotypes in the first place.”
While there they ran into a few IMS alumni who were participating in the conference. Walter Krissel ’16 is attending Loomis and was part of a jazz trio that opened the conference. Drew Laz-Nwokeafor ’15 is attending Kent and was a Peer Facilitator for the conference. Talibah Alexander ’15 is at Pomfret and was also a Peer Facilitator. The students who ran the workshops participated in 10 hours of training to be facilitators. Says Mrs. Frankenbach, “They all seemed to be doing well at their schools. It was great to see them in some leaderships roles at the next level.”
After pausing to take a good hard look at the elephant in the room, the student diversity leaders from IMS hope to bring back their information, knowledge, and experience to better the school community.