I recently attended a faculty of color gathering at Phillips Academy in Andover. I met some of the best minds from people of color at some of the most prestigious schools in the nation. Blacks, Indian, Asians, South Americans, and Middle Easterners were greatly represented. It was fun in that I congregated with black folks who talked about hip hop and rap for one minute, to Plato and Kierkegaard the next. I find such gatherings to be empowering. In the world of independent schools, often times there is a sense of isolation for us. As you can tell, my campus here at Brooks, as well as a host of other campuses do a great job addressing matters of diversity. They create and promote venues for us to engage in our struggles as a minority on campus. The folks at PA did a great job. I enjoyed meeting other folks and talking about our common plight.
The empowering is the key thing here. There are schools that take a lack luster attempt at addressing racial and/or cultural diversity. I believe this is and should be a constant discussion — not one on just a special diversity day, which often is the case. I once heard a school leader tell me that matters of diversity are only as important as campus leadership consider it to be. If it is an invisible matter to them, it will be an invisible matter on campus.