Student Diversity Council 2014-15
Membership in The Student Diversity Leadership Council is extended to students in grades 9-12 who demonstrate passion and leadership in valuing the rich diversity of the human experience and demonstrate a willingness to help others maintain healthy working relationships with people of all sexes, races, religions, sexual orientations, abilities and ages. Council member responsibilities include: teaching Diversity 101 lessons on Upper School grade level retreats and in the Upper School Advisory program, facilitating Upper School Affinity Group Meetings, participation in the Dallas Area Diversity Youth Organization meetings, and modeling cultural competency skills for the pre K-12 grade Parish community.
Affinity groups are created for groups of people who share common experiences. Parish affinity groups are designed to empower students through a focus on various cultural identifiers (i.e. ability, race, religion) as they negotiate daily interactions at school. The goal of our affinity groups is to facilitate positive identity exploration and development for students. The groups offer a time and space for empowerment of the individual and of the group within the greater community. Attendance is optional for all students.
What happens in affinity group meetings?
Students and faculty advisors discuss issues of diversity that affect their lives, whether at Parish or in the Dallas community. The conversations are student-generated and run, and guided by faculty advisors. Faculty advisors are present to support the group both during and outside of the meetings.
What if I have additional questions about affinity groups?
Parish’s emergent diversity and inclusion efforts aim to recognize, appreciate, and affirm the diversity of perspectives that form our community. Our ParishLeads framework empowers each of our three divisions to build curriculum, policies and programs that foster our students’ cultural competencies in age appropriate ways. We strive to create students who are empathetic towards each other- students who recognize similarities and differences. A Parish education facilitates ways for young people to passionately engage in the world in which we live. Our community service emphasis affords students opportunities to partner with local schools and serve non-profit organizations. Our travel program, Leadership Academy, and Academy of Global Studies all provide avenues for students to think critically about society at large and to have a global impact.
Parents, faculty, and staff are also engaged in this important work. Our Upper School diversity conference, Global Blast, Diversity and Inclusion Family Dinners, and faculty professional development seminars are some additional ways that we lay the foundation for a vibrant institutional diversity and inclusion program.