On Wednesday, October 20, a group of MBS 7th and 8th Graders participated in the virtual “Connect. Share. Amplify!” Equity & Inclusion Summit hosted by Gill St. Bernard’s School.
The MBS Middle School participants attended the keynote session as a group before participating in breakout sessions with their peers from other independent schools. The day-long event focused on equipping each student with the knowledge and resources to be change agents within their school community.
The keynote address was delivered by Avi Roque, a Latinx/trans/nonbinary/queer artist and voice actor, who has voiced the first nonbinary Disney character, Raine Whispers, on the animated series The Owl House. Roque spoke about their personal journey and the importance of embracing their true identity. They closed the presentation by asking students to be kind to themselves and to others.
“Be kind to yourself and be gentle because sometimes you may not have that kindness and gentleness from others,” said Roque. “Finally, remember that you and your story are unique. Own it all. There is no other you out there. Enjoy the process and the journey. Be open to how things unfold. There are so many ways to grow into the person you are meant to be. You will find your way and your place. Just keep going.”
In their breakout sessions, students also explored a variety of questions including:
· What do I need to feel included in my community?
· What does my community need to provide additional spaces of support?
· What steps can students take to help make positive social changes to their school climate?
MBS Middle School participants in the workshops included: Nimal Amarasiri ’26, Jake Breslow ’27, Genesis Casselle ’27, Ben Derman ’26, Naomi Green ’27, SJ Jordan ’26, Julia Karosen ’26, Valerie Malhan ’27, Daniel Raimer ’26, and Emma Tofias ’27. The group was led by Michael McGrann, MBS Coordinator of Middle School DEIB Initiatives. Other sessions were facilitated by Klarissa Karosen, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging, and A'Dorian Murray-Thomas, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging.