Citizenship Spotlight: Seniors Honored with Princeton Prize in Race Relations


From left to right: Ali Morgan, Patricia Bautista '19, Faith Hardy '19, Scott Nelson

Congratulations to seniors Faith Hardy and Patricia Bautista, who have been honored with a Certificate of Accomplishment by the New York City Committee for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for their demonstrated commitment to advancing race relations within the greater RCDS community.

Faith and Patricia will have the opportunity to join fellow honorees at an award ceremony on May 1, where they will each present a brief description of their work.

According to Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ali Morgan, "Faith Hardy has contributed so much to our community. She has stepped up and made a huge impact on campus." He continues, "Faith is a racial justice warrior. RCDS is a more inclusive and racially just place because of her presence. If you review the RCDS Portrait of a Graduate, you will find a description of Faith Hardy."

Faith wanted to tackle diversity and racial challenges by teaching students entering their first year in the Upper School, how to speak and interact with one another, regardless of background. She met with the directors of the Peer Leaders program to discuss the development of a Cultural Competency curriculum for ninth graders. Faith ultimately provided "train the trainer" style preparation for a group of 24 Peer Leaders (of which she is one of the heads) and also delivered the lessons to her specific Life Skills class. Faith helped lead an end of the year fishbowl activity about her experiences, particularly as a black girl at RCDS. Her words inspired the Lower School division to commit to a three-part training on white privilege and the cycle of socialization. Faith's Lower School connections do not end there; she is also a lead mentor for the UPLIFT Girls of Color mentoring program.

Patricia Bautista's initial major impact came when she became the youngest co-leader of the Students of Color Mentoring Program. As a sophomore, she worked closely with senior leaders to create programming that addressed how best to respond to microaggressions and cultural appropriation. She helped develop a toolkit for how Middle and Upper School students of color can navigate a predominantly white space. Patricia was also chosen to represent RCDS at the annual Student Diversity Leadership conference, held in Atlanta. After attending a Faculty/Staff Social Justice committee meeting, Patricia inquired about students' regularly attending the meetings. Inspired by Patricia's sense of important collaborative work that could only happen with students present, the formerly adult-only committee expanded to include students the following year. Patricia was one of the inspirations and initial leader of the new affinity program for Lower School girls of color, called UPLIFT. UPLIFT pairs Upper School girls of color with Lower School and Middle School girls of color. This year it was expanded to include boys.

"An inspiration to many," Bautista has also earned Morgan's high praise: "Her commitment to positive racial relations is on display every day. Her love for all mankind is admirable. She has earned the respect and admiration of peers and adults alike." Morgan attributes much of Bautista's success to her exceptionally strong work ethic: "While others might sleep on the train, Patricia is always working. She has shared that her long commute gives her an opportunity to plan, write poetry, listen to music and think about how to improve the planet.

Portrait of a Graduate Connections:

CITIZENSHIP

RCDS students make a positive difference in the world as aware, engaged, and purpose-driven citizens.