A hallmark program sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion is the MOSAIC Middle School Diversity Conference for students in Grades 6 through 8. On April 29, nine participating Fairchester schools sent 61 middle schoolers and 25 high school student facilitators to RCDS to explore the importance of identity and diversity.
This annual event, co-sponsored by Rye Country Day and Greenwich Country Day, is designed to empower participants with the knowledge and skills to create inclusive and supportive learning communities within and across the students’ respective schools.
The conference featured a keynote address from cultural organizer, artist, and drummer Manuela Arciniegas. Ms. Arciniegas performed with her son and discussed how music reflects and builds culture, community, and identity. Ms. Arciniegas is the Director of Legacy Women, an all-women’s drumming group, and she will serve as Executive Director of the Communities for Just Schools Fund this July. Previously, Ms. Arciniegas worked as the Program Officer at the Ford Foundation on the Civic Engagement and Government team.
Upper School leaders, who attended three facilitator training sessions with students from other schools before the conference, then led affinity groups and hosted workshops related to the following themes:
- Bystanders, Upstanders, Allies & Co-conspirators
- Feminism & Women’s Empowerment
- Gender & Sports
- Power of the Media & Countering Negative Images
- Money, Class & Independent Schools
- Popularity, Fitting In & Positive Body Image
- Race and the Asian (AAPI) Community
- Race and the Black & Brown Communities
- Different Abilities (including Learning!)
“The MOSAIC Conference is such a special program. Kids and adults brought their full selves to the event and engaged in authentic conversations designed to educate, inspire, and affirm. Our keynote speaker was a phenomenal artist, educator, and cultural organizer who also attended an independent school and shared her inspirational journey. Many thanks to our partners, participants, and student facilitators who made the conference a meaningful experience for all.”
—Ali Morgan, Director of Diversity & Inclusion