Rise Up: A Presentation by Newark Academy’s Equity and Inclusion Team

On September 20, 2017, students and faculty members heard from NA’s Equity and Inclusion Team (EIT). They shared their thoughts about the role and mission of EIT at NA, and ultimately why all of this work really belongs to – and benefits – all of us. 
Candice Powell-Caldwell, Director of Equity and Inclusion, opened the All-School Morning Meeting presentation. “I have the pleasure and the honor to work with the truly thoughtful, socially conscious and fiercely committed group of students and faculty sitting on the stage in front of you this morning. They represent your peers and your teachers, your teammates, and coaches, your advisors, your colleagues, your friends. They care very much about Newark Academy and the strong community, all of us in this room, are charged with creating and sustaining, very purposefully, each and every day.”
Cosimo Fabrizio '18 shared what being part of a welcoming community with a pro-equity mindset means to him and why it’s important. “Aside from the benefits to different groups, work in equity and inclusion addresses the belief that every human being has equal inherent value – regardless of the characteristics with which they were born.”
Melody Xiao '18 discussed the role of EIT at Newark Academy, reminding her peers that EIT’s purpose is not to listen in on conversations to correct controversies. But, rather, “we are a group of students and faculty who have equity and diversity on our minds as a priority for our community. We feel responsible for educating when we can and standing up when we need to.”
Echoing Melody’s sentiments, Summer Peace '19 said that “we are here to ensure that everyone in the community feels accepted and valued. Part of our work consists of bringing the community together through events, such as our Diversi-teas during the school year, so that different voices are heard and everyone feels acknowledged and valued. I strongly believe in the power and strength of this community. I want to be part of helping to make it a truly inclusive and welcoming space for each and every student who’s fortunate enough to attend.”
Newark Academy prides itself on being an inclusive community but, as Henry Chandonnet '21 said, “Communities do not just happen by accident; they are built with intention, purpose, and transparency. Community is belonging. It’s connection. Community is working together to build something worthwhile and lasting. Community is traditions and teamwork and knowing that you can be ‘you’ because you have a lot of different ‘somebodies’ to lean on. This is the kind of community I’m committed to helping build at Newark Academy.”
And, while news of natural disasters, global threats and the growing hate in the country continue to make headlines, Abbey Zhu '18 took this time to remind her peers to overcome the scary events happening. “It would be easy to let this scary world stand between us and pull us further apart. But, what's easy is not always what's best. What we have here is a chance. A chance to come together as the community that we are, to speak together and work together and learn together. To understand the obstacles in our way and, bit by bit, try to rise up to be better. A chance to make the world a little less scary.”

Click here to watch their presentation.