On Diversity Day, student leaders from Kaleidoscope Multicultural Club presented eight sessions on modern social justice issues; each session asked the question, “What can I do?” to address these issues.
To kick off the day, Erin Murphy ‘05, Director of Student Impact for Rustic Pathways, an organization that provides travel and service opportunities for students, spoke about her journey since Visitation: how her international travels and service prompted her to learn about the opportunity gap and how it relates to racism and the biases that exist both in the United States and abroad. She encouraged students to get to know what they are passionate about and do “self-work” to better understand themselves and how they can apply their talents to make the world a better place.
Following Erin’s presentation, students attended smaller workshops on topics ranging from American gun violence to the Black Lives Matter movement. Kaleidoscope students presented statistics, case studies, and information and then led their classmates, faculty, and staff through exercises to explore and discuss differing perspectives.
The community came together after lunch for a silent movement exercise. Each student and faculty member took an anonymous survey to share their opinions on the issues that were discussed during Diversity Day sessions and to offer insight into their own lives. These surveys were collected and then re-distributed, such that each student or staff member received a survey of someone they did not know. The movement exercise gave each student the opportunity to stand in another’s shoes and represent their opinion or experience, providing a better understanding of the Visitation community’s perspectives as a whole.
To close the day, Fr. Ed Ogden, OSFS, former Campus Minister at Visitation, shared how we are called as Christians to build bridges and love one another rather than be divided by walls or hatred. “In the Easter season, we put all our eggs in the basket of hope,” he said, and referenced St. Francis de Sales, who chose to dialogue with people who were different from him to understand their perspectives. Like the challenges and problems we face, he said, “Good Friday has an end to it because of Easter Sunday.”
Follow @VisiDC on Instagram to view Highlights from Diversity Day 2018.