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UPrep’s New Multiracial Affinity Group

We are excited to help hold a space where multiracial students can explore all facets of their identity.

Rachael Lydeard, Learning Specialist and Multiracial Club Advisor

On Social Justice Day, science teacher Jessica Hanson and I had the privilege of leading a track that explored multiracial identity as it connects to leadership. Our workshop used the question, What Are You? as a starting point for dialogue, as it is one that is often asked of multiracial people.

What made this opportunity special was that it was inspired by student interest. At the end of November, I was approached by a current junior, who was feeling particularly inspired upon his return from the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference to create a space for students who identify with more than one race. His goal was to establish an affinity space to explore what this means and how to connect with other multiracial students. It didn’t take much to convince me that this was a fantastic idea, as I myself was feeling renewed from my time spent in my multiracial affinity space at the People of Color Conference this year. A new affinity group was born.

Challenges in scheduling and disruption to the school calendar led to a rocky start in coordinating time to meet. However, students managed to coordinate a few good meetings this year. Going forward, our Upper School members wish to hold space and to do outreach as we think about how to include opportunities for Middle School students as well.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with our students in thinking about our identity and how it shapes our experiences and engagement in the community. I look forward to continuing this work with our affinity group next year. In Jessica’s words: “We are excited to help hold a space where multiracial students can explore all facets of their identity. As a high school student I often felt I had to choose to be one race or another, and I’m thrilled to be involved with a group where students can be given the conjunction ‘and’ instead of ‘or.’ I couldn’t agree more.

               



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