The D-E Middle School has been taking great strides to inspire diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within the classrooms and community throughout this year and beyond. The values of DEIB are crucial to supporting all students at D-E; according to Ms. Simone Henry Agblonon, Assistant Director for the Office of Engagement for both Lower and Middle Schools, “opportunities for growth and connection are endless and can therefore be utilized to prepare students to positively impact and successfully engage in our increasingly diverse society.”
To celebrate DEIB, the Middle School (MS) students participated earlier this year in Diversity Day, which was dedicated to a series of workshops especially for MS students to discuss about their identity and interests. According to Ms. Agblonon, “Students had the opportunity to engage in workshops related to DEIB’s presence and impact in sports, music, art, cuisine, personal narrative, and more, which hopefully allowed them to relate DEIB to one of their own passions.”
The day kicked-off with a presentation by the dynamic and personable Dr. Michael “Mykee” Fowlin, a clinical psychologist, actor, and poet. Dr. Fowlin took listeners on a storytelling journey about combating bias and cultivating empathy with lively characters! Workshops included making Mexican hojalata art, making dumplings from around the world, and learning about disability justice and activism.
Ms. Agblonon continues. “I hope students that everyone deserves to feel a sense of belonging and appreciate for all that they are.” Ms. Agblonon also expressed how such workshops play an important role in helping people realize that everyone and their personal contributions are “gift to community”.
DEIB at the Middle and Lower Schools will continue to inspire and influence D-E in the years to come. By strengthening her relationships with faculty and students, Ms. Agblonon hopes that DEIB efforts will be consistently included in the administration, classes, and community in all grades, from Pre-K3 to the Grade 12. Whether this evolves through more Diversity Days or further workshops, DEIB will continue to enrich and tighten D-E’s student body and faculty/staff as well.