Powers for Good in the World: The 3rd Annual Saturday Summit on Social Justice
Nearly 200 students, faculty and administrators from 12 peer schools gathered on The Masters School campus for the 3rd Annual Saturday Summit on Social Justice (SSSJ) on Saturday, November 2.
The full-day conference provides local independent school communities with an opportunity to come together for exciting, meaningful and empowering dialogue on subjects ranging from equity and inclusion to identity and the importance of activism.
The annual event, co-hosted by The Masters School and Rye Country Day School, included student and adult affinity groups and workshops that tackled topics such as code-switching, media stereotypes, environmental justice, gender and sexual identity, and institutional and individual racism. “SSSJ is an opportunity for [students and adults] to talk about why they are passionate about these issues and why social justice is important to them,” said Director of Equity and Inclusion Karen Brown, who planned the day with her Rye Country Day School counterpart, Ali Morgan.
Jaelyn Felton ’20, a diversity ambassador who attended SSSJ for the first time this year, said that the highlight of her day was facilitating the code-switching workshop: “I was pleasantly surprised with how well the conversations flowed and how willing everyone was to share.”
In addition to the various student- and faculty-led workshops, SSSJ attendees participated in FACTUALITY the Game, a facilitated dialogue, crash course and board game that simulates real-life experiences and structural inequality in America.
“Based on your features, you have certain advantages or disadvantages” in the game, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator and upper school science teacher Eric Shear explained. “You had to walk in the shoes of somebody else,” Karen Brown added, noting that it provided participants with the opportunity to think and feel deeply about the way other people must navigate the world.
“This day was for you, no matter who you are,” Brown emphasized. Her hope is that every participant walked away from the day knowing “They are individually and collectively important. We are listening to who you are, we are listening to what’s important to you.”