'It Takes A Village' Diversity Day Celebrates Community, Explores Differences

Posted: April 12, 2017

At this year’s "It Takes a Village"-themed Diversity Day, Kaleidoscope Club members led workshops exploring a wide range of important and timely topics, ranging from media's portrayal of women to the refugee crisis. Kaleidoscope came up with the theme during its many discussions throughout the year and accordingly chose a new format for the day. Rather than hosting many all-school activities, club members instead decided to present an array of workshops and allow fellow students to choose which sessions to attend.

View photos of the day here.

In honor of Holy Week, the day commenced with a Prayer Service and the community prayed the Stations of the Cross together. The American Sign Language Club ended the service by signing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Then, each girl attended the two student-led workshops she had selected ahead of time. Kaleidoscope members thoughtfully prepared for the sessions, spending months researching their topics and deciding what they wanted their peers to learn and take away from the discussions.

The workshops were:

  • Mental Health for All by Involving All
  • Free to Believe: A Workshop on Religious Tolerance
  • Miss Representation: Gender Portrayal in the Media
  • P6: Promoting Positive Perspectives in Public Places
  • Swipe Right to Stereotypes: Exploring Stereotypes 101
  • Just for Polikicks: Political Correctness and Awareness in the 21st Century
  • Refugees and Repercussions
  • “Don’t Touch My Hair, When It’s the Feelings I Wear”: Microaggressions and Cultural Appropriation

Read full descriptions of each workshop here.

Each workshop started with community norms meant to help students and faculty openly and respectfully discuss these topics. These guidelines and expectations included: lean into discomfort, respect others’ perspectives, and be OK with silence. The workshops featured presentations from Kaleidoscope members, an activity, and discussion. Student leaders taught their peers how to identify bias and microaggressions, help stop the spread of misconceptions, and maintain a respectful dialogue with someone who holds a different opinion on a challenging topic.

At lunch, girls gathered in small groups to share what they had learned in the workshops they attended, and hear more about the workshops they did not. Kaleidoscope then gathered the whole school together for a silent movement and fishbowl exercise, so that students could see that they are not alone in their beliefs and experiences.

The day concluded with an alumnae panel. Megan Lynch O’Boyle ’85, Abbey Doherty ’10, Adri Smith ’11, Ashley Stoney ’05, and Shakenya Humphries ’04 discussed what community means to them, how they found their respective communities within Visitation, and why communities are so important.

The evening before Diversity Day, dozens of parents attended the “It Takes a Village” Fellowship Event, sponsored by the GVPA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Since Diversity Day focuses on students and faculty, the fellowship event provided parents with a unique opportunity to hear each of the eight workshop presentations. Special thanks to GVPA Diversity and Inclusion Chairs Chandini Burt and Monique Watson for organizing the event.

Diversity Day would not be possible without the dedication and guidance of Kaleidoscope moderators Raynetta Jackson-Clay and Peggy Judge Hamilton ’85. We thank them and all their hard-working students who prepared this magnificent day of learning for our school.

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