Building Bridges, Connecting Community

Inly Middle School Students Attend AISNE Diversity Conference

On Saturday, April 6, 2013, a group of Inly School Middle School students attended the AISNE Diversity Conference held at the Winsor School in Boston, MA. The conference helps middle school students better understand themselves and their peers through reflection, dialogue, and exposure to different cultures.

The keynote speaker was musician, writer, visual artist and educator, Adriel Luis, who shared his belief that imagination and creativity will save the world. Luis also explained how he had spent the past decade pushing artistic boundaries and learning from his mistakes. Luis described imagination as “a vital organ” and encouraged everyone to nurture it. Caroline Leta, an Inly attendee, remarked that, “The idea of imagination as a vital organ really stayed with me because I think Inly shares this belief, too.”

Workshops at the conference included “Diversity in Today’s Pop Culture,” “MIRAGE: Media Images Of Race and Gender Exposed,” and “Chinese Calligraphy.” Other workshops explored multiracial identity, the benefits of traveling to expand perspectives on culture and diversity, and the power of the individual. Inly Middle School student, Ashley Antico, participated in the Chinese Calligraphy workshop and said, “It was really interesting to participate in this workshop because everyone had a different knowledge of Chinese.”

In addition to workshops and small group discussions, there were also performances at the AISNE Diversity Conference including a traditional Indian dance. “It was cool to watch,” said Kiko Cardoso, Inly Middle School. “I love dancing and it’s always interesting to see how it varies from culture to culture.”

Inly Middle School teacher, Paran Quigley, who also attended the conference observed, “It was really amazing to see our students engage in a different setting. I think going to this conference helped expand their horizons. As we continue to explore diversity in all its forms at Inly, conferences like this one will only further open our students’ minds and better prepare them for global citizenship.”

“If there’s one thing I learned at the conference, it’s that diversity means a lot of different things,” remarked Caroline Leta. “It means that we all come from different walks of life and bring something unique to the table.”

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