On March 6, Viewpoint held its Third Annual Diversity Leadership Day for the students in Middle and Upper School.
This daylong event, which featured 41 different workshops facilitated by students and hosted by faculty, gave our students the opportunity to explore diversity in its many forms.
The day began with a Keynote Interview with actor, comedian, and Viewpoint parent Dr.Ken Jeong (Hangover, Dr. Ken, Crazy Rich Asians), conducted by senior Kristen L., in which he shared some of his experiences and insights gained navigating a career as an Asian-American performer. Dr. Jeong also talked about his unusual path from being a doctor to a comedian. He reminded the students that they don’t have to choose just one thing, and “it is important to prioritize what you love.” The interview was followed by two different workshop sessions, with topics ranging from “Privilege 101” to “Colorism: Internalized Racism and Intra-Racial Discrimination” to “Liberty and Justice…for all?” and “Aliens! (The Outer Space Kind).” The day also included a plenary session with Andre Bradford, a.k.a. S.C. Says, an Austin-based slam poet, and concluded with the students writing reflective essays on the day’s activities.
Under the leadership of Eboni Rafus, Teacher of English, Tenth Grade Dean and Upper School Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity Leadership Day has grown in its scope and its ambition. With each successive year, the students’ enthusiasm for investigating these often-challenging subjects and their desire to address the complexity of the world around them increases, and the rich offerings of this Diversity Leadership Day are a direct result of this momentum.
As Head of Middle School Stephen Chan said, “Diversity Leadership Day provides an opportunity to explore the voices that make up Viewpoint, so that we may highlight our uniqueness as individuals as well as our shared values as a community. It celebrates our togetherness as well as our differences, with the purpose of building community, fostering adult-student connection, cultivating student and teacher leadership, and widening the scope of contribution and participation. By choosing a symposium framework, the students engaged in learning as a cognitive and social experience: an experience of leadership, innovation, identity, and awareness.”