On Thursday, January 3, nationally recognized equity and inclusion practitioner John Gentile visited St. Mark's. His visit was sponsored by the School's Community and Equity program.
Specializing in whiteness, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ issues, Mr. Gentile has led workshops, facilitated dialogues and affinity groups, and trained faculty at numerous institutions. He is a co-founder of the conference (Re)defining Power: White Male Voices in Diversity Work, a space for middle- and high-school white male students wanting to explore their role in equity and justice work. In 2007, Gentile received the Princeton Prize for Race Relations. He also serves on the New York State Association of Independent Schools Diversity Committee.
At St. Mark's, Mr. Gentile met with faculty, and then had lunch with students from the School's White Spaces affinity group. After lunch, the entire St. Mark's community assembled in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall, where Gavin Gattuso '20 introduced Mr. Gentile. On stage, Gentile sat down with Olivia Hammond '19 and Felicity Keyzer-Pollard '21, who asked him a series of questions about his own experiences, identity, diversity, whiteness, and more. He then took questions from the audience. Later that evening, Gentile attended dinner in the dining hall and met with more students and faculty.
John Gentile's honest, insightful, and informative presentations were very well received by the St. Mark's community. Next on the calendar for the Community and Equity program is the annual Community and Equity Day at St. Mark's on Friday, January 11. Then, in April, St. Mark's will once again host the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) Diversity Conference.