The annual celebration of community and equity at St. Mark's highlighted diversity and identity in the School community.
It began on Thursday evening, January 10, with a "Cultural Fair" sponsored by the Pathway Prefects. The student voices of the Community and Equity program at St. Mark's, the Pathways Prefects represent the School's various affinity groups. They engage their peers in conversations about issues and questions of community and equity at St. Mark's, and they assist both Ms. Adams (director of community and Equity Affairs) and the Global Citizenship program with events like the cultural fair.
On Thursday evening, tables were set up in Taft Hall, each hosted by students representing their own cultures. There was music, food, and many turned out to enjoy the multi-cultural entertainment and to learn more about the various cultural backgrounds of their fellow St. Markers.
On Friday, January 11, was the annual Community and Equity Day. Dr. Rodney Glasgow—noted activist and educator in the areas of diversity, equity, and social justice—was the keynote speaker in the morning, addressing the entire St. Mark's community in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall. Dr. Glasgow was assistant head of Upper School and director of diversity for Worcester Academy, and is currently the head of Middle School and chief diversity officer at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland. He is also President of The Glasgow Group, a consortium of dynamic, innovative consultants. Dr. Glasgow's appearance was co-sponsored by the Gray Colloquium series.*
After his presentation, Dr. Glasgow led a workshop for adults in the Class of '45 Hall, while students scattered to a variety of locations—Taft Hall, Benson Auditorium, the Armour Cage, Elkins Field House, the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and the Michel Faculty Athletic Center—to participate in an immigration simulation. Then followed a series of student-led workshops in the STEM building and the Putnam Family Arts Center.
Community and Equity Day concluded after lunch with an "Identity Celebration" in the Class of '45 Hall. There was music, dancing, presentations by students, and so much more, all reflecting the identities and affinities found within the St. Mark's community.
In the aftermath of a successful Community and Equity Day, to the entire St. Mark's family Ms. Adams says "Thank you for your support, as we all strive to work together across differences and build a stronger and more inclusive community."
*The C. Boyden Gray Colloquium Series is designed to engage St. Mark's students in an exploration of one complex global issue annually. Students hear from outside speakers with varying viewpoints, participate in small group discussions, write about and debate the issue, and take part in all-community events. C. Boyden Gray '60, former Board President and current Trustee Emeritus, has committed $1.5 million to fund this annual yearlong learning exercise. St. Markers, Gray believes, "should think in big terms and be inquisitive about the outside world." Gray, a former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, White House counsel to the first President Bush, and recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, hopes that tackling these topics in an intensive fashion will inspire students to serve their country and the world.