This year, as a part of our Equity and Inclusion curriculum, students are engaging in conversations about race and ethnicity. For the next three weeks they will also participate in a 21-Day Racial Equity Learning Challenge.
Have you ever made a successful change in your life? Think about the time and attention you dedicated to the process. Change is hard. Creating effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of power, privilege, and leadership is like any lifestyle change. Setting our intentions and adjusting what we spend our time doing is essential. It’s all about building new habits. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. The good news is, there’s an abundance of resources just waiting to empower you to be a more effective player in the quest for justice.
In collaboration with faculty, employees, and students, and with the guidance of the work by Dr. Moore, Dr. Park, and Irving, Director of Equity and Inclusion Jini Sparkman shares, “We have chosen the content for this learning endeavor. The challenge consists of five major parts and a reflection on each: read, watch, listen, notice, act. We are ready to learn and reflect together.”
In a letter inviting parents and alumni to participate in the challenge, Jini along with Head of School Phil Peck write, “As an educational and Episcopal institution, we have committed to educating the mind, body, and spirit while also developing leaders for 21st century. That responsibility carries the necessity for intercultural competency and skills and racial and ethnic literacy. Holderness wants to provide the foundational social/historical contexts and information necessary to enter into conversation that centers on identity and, in this year, race and ethnicity. The goal is to develop and build the cultural competency and skills necessary to empathize with the experience of others while seeing them as a whole person. The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge is the beginning. We want to prepare students for what we hope will be a conversation that they continue throughout their lives.”
Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., the founder and director of the White Privilege Conference (WPC), a leading social justice organization recently spoke to the Holderness community and emphasized that it is not that we must agree with one another but that we must be willing to have the conversation. Jini states, “We welcome you to sit with us--from near and far, virtually or in person. We invite you to join with the Holderness community to grow with us. Learn with us. Join us in our 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge.” The site includes a planning document and links to all of the information. Join us!
Celebrating its 141st Commencement, Holderness School honored the great Class of 2020. While we could not gather on Livermore Common, we celebrated these seniors in a touching -- and our first-ever -- virtual Commencement ceremony. Although far apart, the strong bonds of the Holderness School family were palpable today as we welcomed these amazing seniors as our newest alumni!
Holderness School celebrated this year’s Prize Day in unique fashion. While the school could not gather on Livermore Common to honor the academic successes and intellectual grit shown by our students, the community found creative ways to celebrate the achievements of our scholars. Throughout the week, academic departments shared short, meaningful videos that recognized the work, growth, and accomplishments of our artists, historians, scientists, theologians, mathematicians, and linguists. And, today, Holderness School came together virtually to honor several students who have made extraordinary contributions to the community.
At Holderness School, Senior Thesis is the culminating academic experience that affords every student the opportunity to practice research and presentation skills with guidance from a class advisor and mentoring from adults with expertise within the student’s field of interest. The Senior Thesis program is a bridge for seniors to move smoothly towards the college-level. The project begins by asking a question that is of interest to the student. Here are our 2020 seniors essential questions: