Conference Addresses Identity Development & Cross-Cultural Communication
Over the weekend, 19 students and 3 chaperones attended the Students of Color Conference at Exeter put on annually by AISNE (Association of Independent Schools of New England) and is attended by nearly 500 students from boarding and day schools in New England.
The two-day conference included a dance, keynote speakers, and workshops. Males and females spent the night on campus in separate gyms. While our group missed the first keynote speaker due to attending athletes’ late games, one highlight was listening to Rosetta Lee, Seattle Girls’ Schools faculty member and national trainer on cross-cultural competency and who came to Cushing last fall, speak about identity. She provided a good theoretical framework for identity development and encouraged people to realize that everyone is the sum of all their different identities. She gave strategies for cross-cultural communication and spoke about the importance of making connections with others.
The group also heard Edward E. Curtis IV speak. Curtis, Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and author, is an Exeter graduate. He was back for the first time in 25 years since his graduation. He spoke powerfully about the pain he experienced during his time there – and about the need for students/people of color to work together in order to overcome issues created by systemic inequity. He was impressive – so much so that one of our students is emailing him for a copy of the speech.
Workshops attended included:
Islamophobia and how it Manifests on Campus
Weapons of Mass Creation
What You Wear on Your Skin
Dear Future Leader
How to Thrive at a Prep School: Stories from Students of Color
Walk the Line to Tell Your Story
Islam: Understanding the Misunderstood
Passing: Owning Your Privilege When You Can Pass for White
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.