The Hourglass

Diving Into or Dodging Diversity Conferences

Maya Hairston '18, Guest Writer

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Originally featured in the March 2018 Edition

According to a poll taken of the Upper School, over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Baldwin School students involved in diversity-inclusion work and attending diversity conferences. It is clear there is a plethora of student interest in this work.
However, there are still many students who are not a part of the diversity-inclusion circle at Baldwin. There are a multitude of reasons for this split in the Baldwin community. After conversing with several students, the responses revealed that the reason for the split is that some students have a passion for diversity work, and others feel unwelcomed or simply too busy.
50% of the 18 respondents noted they have attended a diversity conference in a poll sent to the entire Upper School. 50% of students checked “no” when asked if they have attended a diversity conference. The students who responded “yes” explained that their belief in equality for all and the potential for understanding new perspectives and meeting new people interested them. The students who responded “no” explained they were too busy and did not have time, or that they were not interested.
Francesca Douglas ’18 said, “I don’t go because I feel like it is not my place to attend, and I’m usually really busy.” Many of the other “no” students described the same feeling of exclusion.
In reality, diversity pertains to everyone. Many people assume that it only refers to race, but the word includes so much more. For example, diversity includes sexual identities, socioeconomic status, experiences, sexual harassment, mental illnesses, disabilities, race, gender, and other concepts.
Sydney Parmet ‘19 said, “I go to diversity conferences because I love to be in an environment where I can learn from people of all different backgrounds. Having difficult conversations about crucial topics that aren’t necessarily talked about every day is such a unique experience. I’ve made friends from all across the country with different beliefs and experiences, whom I learn from every single day.”
The Baldwin population remains split: those who are a part of the diversity-inclusion circle and those who are not. However, after the second annual Building Bridges day, there is a chance more students will become interested in the important and complex work that is diversity.

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Diving Into or Dodging Diversity Conferences