On Thursday, October 1, MBS held a Student Diversity Leadership Summit — a day-long program designed to strengthen bonds among our various student leaders on campus.
The activities allowed Upper School students an opportunity to reflect on their personal identity, leadership style, and learn more about their peers, specifically in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The overarching goal of the event was to foster connectivity, accountability, and a unified approach to enhancing our MBS culture. While Thursday’s event was capped at 50 students, there will be opportunities in the future for additional students to engage in these types of experiences.
The day began with a welcome from Head of School Peter Caldwell, Head of the Upper School Ryan Liese, and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Klarissa Karosen before the students divided into teams and participated in a “build the highest tower” activity.
Afterwards, MBS alumnus Ian Elmore-Moore ’09 delivered a keynote address on Zoom, focusing on five different leadership styles — pioneer, champion, influencer, hesitator, and obstructer. He asked the students to reflect on the tower building activity and identify their own style of leadership. He then asked the students to think about how they can influence the culture on campus in a positive way and unite as an MBS family.
Throughout the day, students addressed topics of race, class, gender, sexuality, mindfulness and mental health by participating in activities such as the Thought Museum and the Spectrum Walk. “The activities do not focus on politics or determining what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’” said Mrs. Karosen. “The activities are designed to encourage the students to examine themselves as individuals, see how their identities intersect, and build empathy and leadership skills to become agents of change within the MBS community.”
Students brainstormed to identify areas for cultural improvement on campus and then recorded themselves committing to do one thing that would help resolve the issues they identified.
The closing speaker, MBS Wellness teacher Dillan DiGiovanni, reiterated the impact we can have as individuals. “Do you feel strong enough in who you are to respect diversity of thought and opinion?” he asked the students. “We want to be the kinds of leaders who create space for everybody. As long as you’re willing and able, then that’s readiness for change.”