Faculty discussed improving gender, sexuality and racial inclusion in classes and sports teams at the Faculty Growth Day at the Middle School on Nov. 10.
Tricia Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University, spoke to faculty about the difference between individual racism and systemic racism. The faculty first separated into groups with members of different departments, and they later met with the members of their own department to discuss how these issues related specifically to their curriculum and classes. Upper school dean Jennifer Cardillo said Rose emphasized that people get defensive about the idea of systemic disadvantages.
“We all want to believe that success in our society is based on individual merit rather than inherited privilege,” Cardillo said.
Rabbi Emily Feigenson (Natanya Perluss ’16 and Tali Perluss ’18) said Rose’s lectures were helpful in understanding the impact of history and culture.
“I think these days gives staff, myself included, an opportunity to do some deep thinking about the ways which we cue kids that they have to hide their racial or ethnic identities or the ways that we invite people to reveal those aspects of their persons,” Feigenson said. “It also gives us a safe place to talk about how hesitant we become to refer to someone’s ethnicity or race and how important it is to approach that topic with curiosity instead of thinking that you can’t ask about it.”