Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chapel Offers Powerful Insights
At a time when issues of social injustice and systemic racism are at the forefront of the news, Belmont Hill recently held a chapel that offered the community the opportunity to reflect upon these issues and how we might effect change.
Caleb Collins, the School's director of community and diversity was the first to speak. Mr. Collins first noted that last May, as the news of the tragic killing of George Floyd spread, Belmont Hill was too slow in responding and a group of students courageously sent an email telling of their frustration and anger.
But, as Mr. Collins said, the response of the students spurred the community in action. "Throughout the summer, we exchanged books that needed to be read, podcasts to be heard, movies and documentaries that needed to be watched, workshops and conferences to remotely attend with each other. Conversations that began in June continued throughout the summer and into our early faculty meetings." Mr. Collins went on to say that as we begin this new school year, every member of the Belmont Hill community can strive to become activists. "We cannot be silent because we don’t know what to say. We can no longer be silent out of fear that we might say the wrong thing. I would counter that saying nothing is exactly the wrong thing. We must become a community that stands and speaks against injustice of any kind."
The Community and Diversity staff now has two new members. Sarah D'Annolfo, who will work will work primarily with Middle School students, and first-year teacher Bryson Rosser, who will work with Upper School students. Mrs. D'Annolfo spoke after Mr. Collins, introducing a group of student leaders who would speak virtually to the School. Those leaders were Jalen Walker Form VI, Abe Tolkoff VI, Matt Travaglini VI, Tim McCormack VI, Luke Carroll V, and Stalin Polanco VI. The students offered reflections on DEI issues at the School, the work that needs to be done, and a call to action urging all to get involved.
Students watching the presentation in their homerooms were asked to journal about their reflections on the chapel. Mr. Collins closed by explaining that he was excited by the changes made to the school schedule this year. "With the newly created community time every Thursday, our entire community will truly engage in transformative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. Advisors will participate in challenging conversations and activities with their advisees."
You can watch the entire chapel in the above video.
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Belmont Hill School educates boys in mind, body, and spirit to develop men of good character. Our community encourages and challenges students to discover and pursue passions, seek excellence, and face adversity with resilience. We cultivate critical thinking and creativity, teamwork and competition, hard work and reflection, tradition and innovation. Valuing our differences and working together, we embrace camaraderie, compassion, and service to others. Our school strives to instill in each boy ethical judgment, a sense of common humanity, and a lifelong love of learning.