UPLIFT: Students of Color Mentoring Program (2018-19)
The definition of “uplift” is to cause an increase in happiness or hopefulness as well as to raise someone or something to a higher position. UPLIFT was created last year as a unique initiative designed to support and enrich the experience of girls of color at Rye Country Day School. Last year's wonderful program and traditions will continue! If you participated last year, we are excited to have you back. If you have not participated before, we would love to have you join us.
We are also excited to add a boys component this year.
The UPLIFT program will connect Lower and Middle School girls and boys of color with Upper School mentors. Mentors and mentees will meet during scheduled UPLIFT events as well as individually arranged gathering times in between. In addition, UPLIFT will hold affinity events to bring together faculty, alumnae, students, parents, and guardians of color.
UPLIFT seeks to support students in navigating their gender as it intersects with their race and/or ethnicity. It is important to create a safe space for students to foster connections, process specific experiences, and build self-esteem. Together, we will discover what it means to have a shared identity, celebrate successes, raise issues, inspire change, and learn. Throughout the school year, we will hold monthly gatherings centered around identity and empowerment.
- “At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the Inside” (NY Times)
- “Identity, Affinity, Reality” (Independent School Magazine)
- “Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?” (NY Magazine)
- Infants are able to nonverbally categorize people by race as early as 6 months (Katz & Kofkin, 1997)
- Research by NAIS indicated that affinity groups allow for: building community, identifying issues, sharing successes, and promoting ideas for action (Batiste, 2006)
- Affinity groups participation results in increased racial identity development and self-esteem. Download. (Hartness, 2012)
- Toddlers as young as 2 years of age use racial categories to reason about people’s behaviors (Hirschfeld, 2008)
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Department Chair, Mathematics, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Mathematics Teacher, Middle School