Students Strengthen Community Ties at Saturday Summit

Claress Bahamundi ’23
As I sat within the circle of my Latinx affinity group, sharing stories, laughter and personal experiences, I was overwhelmed with a sense of pride.

This was exactly what this year's Saturday Summit on Social Justice (SSSJ) theme, “Return to Real Talk,” was all about. 

On Saturday, November 17, Masters and Rye Country Day School co-hosted the 6th annual Saturday Summit on Social Justice on our campus. SSSJ reached its highest attendance ever with over 125 attendees from 12 independent schools, including Masters and RCDS: French-American School of New York, Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich Academy, Holy Child, Iona Prep, King School, Rippowam Cisqua School, Saint Ann's School, St. Paul's School and Tuxedo Park School.

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to attend various workshops, engage within affinity spaces, and interact with guest speaker Ashley Lipscomb, the co-founder and CEO of The Institute for Anti-Racist Education. The event ended with a pizza party. 

This year, some of the workshops included: Code Switching, Privilege, Beyond Binaries and more. In fact, I was able to facilitate my own workshop, placing emphasis on self-care and the de-stigmatization of mental health. Having the opportunity to share a topic that I am passionate about with my peers was an extremely gratifying experience. 

In addition to workshops, there was also time to spend within affinity groups. Junior Elijah Brooks recalled the chance to have affinity spaces as one of the highlights of his day, stating that “power lies in community, and these spaces allow for students to support one another in a world that doesn’t always do the same.” 

The affinity groups have always been one of my favorite events. This year, my group came up with our own catchphrase, “Unidos Podemos” which means “united we can” in Spanish. We also created a playlist of our favorite Spanish music. 

Junior Arjun Ratan made an observation that resonated with me: “SSSJ is important to Masters culture because it gives students of all different backgrounds, experiences and schools the chance to learn from and educate one another about issues surrounding social justice in the world.” 

I am eternally thankful that my fourth and final Saturday Summit continued to engage me intellectually, exposing me to real-life issues, and allowing me to partake in civil discourse.

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