When a Belmont Hill senior graduates, diploma in hand, he embarks on an odyssey that stretches far beyond our closed campus in Belmont. His interactions with his family, friends, and coworkers reflect not only the academic rigor of our curriculum, but what he has internalized from Belmont Hill’s core values as a school. The Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) Breakfast, hosted alongside Students Actively Fostering Equality (SAFE) on January 7th, served to reconnect alumni to the Belmont Hill community to share their invaluable and unique experiences with current students. Students, alumni, and faculty engaged in meaningful discussion around issues of diversity and inclusion at school. Consider the questions below that participants tried to answer themselves:
Which aspect(s) of your identity and/or your personality are you most proud of? Why?
Imagine that your families will be meeting for dinner (for the first time). What would your family need to know about the other family before they met?
In your opinion, should feminism be a core value at Belmont Hill? Why/Why not?
Hypothetically, would you send your son to Belmont Hill? Why/Why not?
Each of these questions posed a different challenge to each person, some became more controversial, some invoked quick responses. No matter the scope of the prompt, however, everyone contributed their own thoughts and perspectives in a respectful and constructive manner. Although an awkward silence creeped into the room at points, the gathering had likewise moments of laughter, head-nodding, and agreement.
As Mr. Ekwelum, an alumnus, teacher, and key orchestrator of the event, added, “Discussions on diversity can be challenging, but in order to grow as a school community, we can’t be afraid to have these discussions–we are all affected by issues of diversity and inclusion.”