By: Yearbook Staff Periods E and C and The Online News Staff Period A

Photo Credits: Emily Reed

The Ravenscroft community hosts a day to discuss differences in cultures throughout the school and how to create a more inclusive environment.

A select group of Upper School students led educational activities on how to be more inclusive of various communities at Ravenscroft and beyond. The group, formally titled Students Pursuing Equity and Kindness (SPEAK),  provided a great opportunity for all of the Upper School to learn about inclusivity and diversity throughout Ravenscroft.

Upper school students spent the afternoon discussing issues facing various communities. Students also examined inherent generalizations and assumptions during this time. Students in each grade attended a number of different sessions to learn about each of the aforementioned topics.                                                            

The five different workshops offered ranged in subject matter, including: religion, gender bias, DNA connections, line crossing, and implicit bias. Each workshop had activities for students to learn more about the meaning of the topic covered and how to be proactive about such issues in everyday life.

According to Ms. Shelley Torres, Upper School English teacher and SPEAK faculty co-coordinator, the organized day reflects a need in our community. Ms. Torres states, “As a response to challenges students have witnessed in our school environment with the self-awareness, communication, and empathy necessary to grow and nurture an inclusive environment, the student leadership team for SPEAK develops a half-day event of workshops that focuses on topics they hope will inspire students to increase their own awareness around the complex issues that impact our ability to connect with one another. Overall, SPEAK works to start conversations that often can be uncomfortable but also can grow our community’s capacity for empathy.” Indeed, the efforts of the SPEAK team are widespread and deep.

The students and faculty who arranged the workshops during SPEAK ask everyone who participate in the activities to become more self aware and to be kind to those around them.