Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Celebrating Diversity

by Matt Marenghi

On Saturday, January 14th seven of Blake’s ADL Peer Leaders attended the 15th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Conference at Framingham State University. Accompanied by Senora Gonzalez, Mrs. Campbell, and myself, it proved to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with a diverse group a students, all in tribute to Dr. King’s vision and dream.

We attended a workshop at the conference that focused on all the students’ varying aspirations and hopes when it came to pursuing higher education. This workshop was lead by current college students who were willing to share their own struggles and successes about their respective paths to this point. As much as I think it was great for Blake’s Peer Leaders to hear how students from different communities might feel about higher education, it was also quite enlightening for my own “guidance” lens.

Our students also participated in team building activities, which further gave them the opportunity to get to more personally know the students from other schools. Each activity was followed by a reflective discussion lead by the facilitators. These discussions lent themselves to larger-scope discussions about race relations in our society. Acknowledging the troubling events over the past few years, the students were encouraged to see that by working together they could combat bigotry and prejudice.

Without any judgement, I think it would be fair to say that Medfield is not a very racially diverse community - at least compared to that of other communities in the area. I cherished the opportunity to have the seven white students I was responsible for work with and celebrate a national holiday with students who are not white. This is not just because they might not have the same opportunity within their own community, or that I am a fierce advocate of celebrating diversity, but because it was in keeping with a hero’s dream.

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