During the weekend of January 26th, 21 MBS Upper School students and five faculty chaperones participated in a Diversity and Inclusion Retreat in Blairstown, NJ.
The retreat was designed to provide students with an opportunity to discuss and celebrate their differences and their common bonds. Throughout the weekend, students addressed topics of race, class, gender, sexuality, mindfulness and mental health.
“This experience allowed me to relate to other people on similar issues. I believe that connection is the most powerful feeling and I wouldn’t trade the connections I made for anything,” said junior Kyle Torre.
Activities included guided meditations, a reflective hike, a painting exercise, and more. “The activity I found most meaningful was when we stepped over a line in response to a question or statement that applied to us. It helped show that even though we’re all different people, a lot of us have gone through similar things. It showed there’s more to a person than meets the eye,” said Nicole Westwood.
“I hope this retreat helps the MBS community really integrate all students and all ideas together,” said senior Dan Levine. “Because this is my last year, I really hope I can give everything I can do the community before I leave.”
Student participants included: JayShon DuBose, Amanda Fradkin, Quiya Harris, Allie Hess, Emma Kenny, Dan Levine, Nicolette Lewis, Nick Lombardi, Kaya Moody, Tashana Noel, Dera Okuzu, Paige Sanderson, Laury Senecal, Alex Shah, Caitlyn Sleeman, Lily Solomon, Deven Soto, Kyle Torre, Isabella Turndorf, Chloe van der Poel, and Nicole Westwood.
Faculty and staff members Klarissa Karosen, Jenna Sumner, Zoe Shea, Liz Harrison, and Andrew Holbrook served as chaperones and helped facilitate the discussions.