The Westminster Schools, an inclusive educational and spiritual community, embraces and values the unique qualities and traits of each of its members. We recognize that an informed understanding of one’s own identity not only contributes to the development of a healthy, empowered young adult but also enhances the learning experience for each and every member of the community. Consequently, we celebrate our growing diversity through protection and exploration of individual difference articulated along a wide spectrum that includes, but certainly is not limited to race, class, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.
|Students to Celebrate Lunar New Year|
Westminster students will celebrate Lunar New Year with a colorful and festive lunch display and menu on Friday, February 3 in Malone Dining Hall. This new year is named for the Rooster. Also known as Spring Festival, the season is marked by the lunisolar calendar so the date changes each year and runs through the 15th day of the month.
|Book Selected for Spring Community Read|
The PAWS Common Ground Committee has selected author Debbie Irving's Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race as its spring parent community book read.
Reflecting on her work, the author writes, "Waking Up White is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As I unpack my own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, I reveal how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated my ill-conceived ideas about race. I also explain why and how I’ve changed the way I talk about racism, work in racially mixed groups, and understand the racial justice movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Waking Up White's personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book, or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues."
|Join Us for Around the World in 80 Bites!|
Join Westminster’s Global Education Programs and the Glenn Institute for Around the World in 80 Bites on Saturday, February 4 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in Malone Dining Hall in Pressly Hall! It is a fun, family-oriented global event that seeks to highlight our Westminster community’s rich and diverse cultural heritage while enjoying a taste of the world. The food and traditions presented are intended to promote empathy, appreciation, and respect for our multi-faceted communities. We will have various food tastings, live performances, and student presentations, along with games and other exciting activities!
|PAWS Outing to Watch Hidden Figures|
The PAWS Common Ground committee hosted a community movie outing on January 22 to view the popular and educational movie Hidden Figures. Based on a true story, the movie celebrates a team of African-American women who provided NASA with important mathematical data necessary to launch the program's first successful space mission. For a trailer of the film, click here.
|Faculty and Staff to Attend "Whites Confronting Racism" Seminar|
Westminster will host the seminar, "Whites Confronting Racism," from equity and inclusion consultant Dr. Ali Michael. Twenty Westminster administrators, faculty, and staff members will attend the seminar March 1-3. The intimate three-day workshop experience is designed for "white people who want to challenge racism around them and in their own heads and hearts," while gaining deeper understanding about social justice work, educational models, and personal racial identity development.
Dr. Ali Michael is a Philadelphia-based educator, facilitator, and filmmaker specializing in community building and best practices for helping independent and public schools create supportive and culturally responsive classrooms for children.
|December Faculty Lunch & Learn Explores Colorism|
Faculty and staff will connect on Wednesday, December 7 at 11:30 a.m.
over lunch and have a discussion with film director Nayani Thiyagarajah and producer Camaro West. Their documentary, "Shadeism: Digging Deeper", tackles the issue of colorism in global communities. The film focuses on the issue of skin tone and certain shades being considered better than others within the same community. According to the filmmaker, the topic was never missing from conversation while growing up and though she was able to feel its presence among family and friends, she did not have the language to name it. In 2009, a conversation with her young niece forced Thiyagarajah to face the fact that the community cannot continue to ignore this issue or its repercussions. In the film, she begins to recover and reimagine what beauty means for women around the world. You can watch a trailer of the documentary here
|Dr. Imani Perry - A Conversation About Race|
|Learn more about the Student Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC) in this student-produced video.|