Throughout the year at Buckley, all of our Middle and Upper School students attend multiple student-led DEI Symposia that spark conversation and dialogue across campus. Held in the fall and spring, DEI Symposia raise awareness about issues going on throughout the world that affect us in many different ways.

Past Symposia were held on the following topics: The Asian Experience in American Education; Identity & Storytelling Series: Alumni In Conversation; Socioeconomic Status in Independent School Life (in partnership with Sequoyah School); Dismantling Power & Privilege: A Conversation About Race; Intersectionality; In-Between Identities: Reflections of Transracial Adoption; #Colorism; and Gender, Sex, & Sexuality.

The reason these Symposia are so successful is that they are student-led in collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (DEC). Symposia offer the opportunity for students to share their experiences with others in an effort to learn, grow, and build empathy for the world around us and play an integral role in cultivating student voice and leadership on campus.

Middle School Programming - Fall 2021

List of 3 items.

  • Best Buddies: Bridging People and Creating Friendships

    There are over 200 million people worldwide with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Ableist attitudes and language reinforce their sense of isolation and feeling unwanted.  Best Buddies International was founded in 1989 to forge personal one-on-one friendships between people who have IDD and those who don't.  We have created Best Buddies Club at Buckley to join those in creating new personal connections. Those friendships are crucial for the emotional health of not only people with IDD, but for us, as well. We all need buddies who care about and look out for us.

    Discussion Questions: 
    • Before seeing this symposium, what are some misconceptions you had about people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD)? How has this symposium changed how you have viewed people with IDD? 
    • When the Best Buddies Club brings their peers with IDD onto campus, what are some activities you think they should engage in?  What about Buckley should our visitors experience?
    • In what ways have you heard the use of ableist language on campus? Is its use  prevalent at Buckley? What responsibilities do we have as a community to stop ableist language, and what might that look like? 
    • In comedy, there's a rule that you don't "punch down," meaning you don't make fun of people and groups with less power than you. Why do you think it's human nature to punch down?
    • Let's imagine that you were bad at tennis, and you didn't care. But every day when you came to school, people relentlessly made fun of you. How would you deal with that? How might this relate to the experience of people with IDD?
  • Fake News - Real Talk

    What is fake news and how does it affect the world around us? This symposium will delve into the impacts of fake news, why it is created, and how to spot headlines that may be false or misleading. Through insight into the nature of fake news, “clickbait,” and intentional manipulation of facts, we will begin a necessary discussion on how information, truthful or otherwise, shapes our society.

    Discussion Questions:
    • Where are different places where we can access news? 
    • What examples of fake news today can you point to from today?
    • How can fake news impact your own life? Your communities? The entire nation? Our global community?
    • Various types of news have been around for a long time. Why might fake news be so common today, as opposed to 50 years ago?
    • How might our initial beliefs about an issue alter our ability to dissect the truthfulness of an article or post?
    • What are some steps we can take to combat false information?
  • Uplifting Identity

    Our identities are based on a combination of heredity and varying social identifiers. Often without noticing, we navigate the world through our social identifiers, which serve as a lens through which we view ourselves and the larger world around us. We’d like to examine and highlight how our identities are shaped and who contributes to the messages we receive. The ultimate goal is to make sure that we honor and celebrate our own, individual uniqueness, and, simultaneously uplift the identity of others.

    Discussion Questions:
    • Why is identity important to recognize or understand?
    • What are the varying entities that influence our own identity?
    • Why is it important to understand and attach value to the identity of others? What are the barriers to valuing other identities in the same way that we value our own? 
    • In our history and current practices/ways of being, we can be “socialized” to accept the mistreatment of people with identities that are not widely accepted as the norm - how can we interrupt that process?

Upper School Programming - Winter 2021

List of 5 items.

  • AAPI Personal Narrative & Culture At Buckley

    In this symposium, we are going to be focusing on the Buckley AAPI community and give an insight into their own personal narratives.  We are trying to shift focus away from a history lesson to more of a personal experience to get to know some AAPI students better and show the many different cultures/heritages Buckley has.  We hit points relating to discrimination, racism, experiences faced at Buckley (positive or negative), and ways people can help AAPI students feel more represented and included.  

    Discussion Questions: 
    • How might you be able to help under-represented AAPI community members feel more included?
    • Which AAPI culture/heritage inspired you the most?  What impact did it have?
    • How do you ensure that Buckley remains an inclusive community for all identities?
    • What was the most surprising fact you learned about AAPI communities? How might it relate to you?
    • Do you have any similar experiences you would like to share with your advisory group?
  • Best Buddies: Bridging People and Creating Friendships

    There are over 200 million people worldwide with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Ableist attitudes and language reinforce their sense of isolation and feeling unwanted.  Best Buddies International was founded in 1989 to forge personal one-on-one friendships between people who have IDD and those who don't.  We have created Best Buddies Club at Buckley to join those in creating new personal connections. Those friendships are crucial for the emotional health of not only people with IDD, but for us, as well. We all need buddies who care about and look out for us.

    Discussion Questions: 
    • Before seeing this symposium, what are some misconceptions you had about people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD)? How has this symposium changed how you have viewed people with IDD? 
    • When the Best Buddies Club brings their peers with IDD onto campus, what are some activities you think they should engage in?  What about Buckley should our visitor's experience?
    • In what ways have you heard the use of ableist language on campus? Is its use prevalent at Buckley? What responsibilities do we have as a community to stop ableist language, and what might that look like? 
    • In comedy, there's a rule that you don't "punch down," meaning you don't make fun of people and groups with less power than you. Why do you think it's human nature to punch down?
    • Let's imagine that you were bad at tennis, and you didn't care. But every day when you came to school, people relentlessly made fun of you. How would you deal with that? How might this relate to the experience of people with IDD?
  • Between Two Worlds: Nostalgia & the Immigrant Experience

    This symposium will explore the intersections of bicultural identity, the concept of nostalgia, colonialism, immigration, and our shared history. We would like to mention that America’s immigration history is not perfect and for some has always been divisive. But the framing context between “we” and “us versus them,” between “all men are created equal” and “all immigrants are criminals,” does not have to continue. We can and must advance a narrative and tell stories that tie immigration to shared humanity, collective prosperity, and America’s distinct identity as a “nation of immigrants.” If we do, we can shift the tide, change our common culture, and come closer to a more united and perfect union.

    Discussion Questions: 
    • Are the identities discussed mutually exclusive? (e.g Arab American Greek American etc.)
    • Are there any students with dual identities in this advisory group? If so, what is it like to maintain dual identities? 
    • How do immigrants express and make sense of their identity? 
    • What are the positives and negatives of being bicultural? 
    • What are the different memories and life experiences of Arab-Americans/ Greek-Americans today?
    • Are you familiar with the term nostalgia? If so, how has it benefited you in navigating the challenges of immigration or other life challenges?
    • How can we use empathy to connect to someone that has a different lived experience?
    • What can we do to support Haitain refugees? 
  • Latino Activists: Their Lives and Their Visions

    Tying into our Portrait of a Graduate strands that emphasize “creative thinkers,” “inclusive leadership,” and “resilient explorers,” this symposium discussion considers the passion of remarkable Latino activists who are not always included in the mainstream curriculum. Today, they deserve to be known and recognized for the social and political change that they have made in the United States and beyond.

    Discussion Questions: 
    • We learned about many people who actively engage in trying to improve their communities. What are some things that you currently do, or could do, to improve the communities of which you are a part? 
    • Using details from the discussion, describe who stands out for you as a notable activist and why? 
    • How is the representation of Hispanics/Latinos in the school curriculum?
    • There are other Latinos that have made contributions in the United States. We just highlighted a few. Do you know of other Latino/a influencers?
    • If you had an opportunity to meet with a person that was mentioned today, who would they be and why?
  • The Intersection of Racial Injustice and the Climate Crisis

    Racial injustice and the ecological crisis intersect in many unique ways. How the 17th-century European philosophers shaped the modern world, separating mind and body, man and nature, and eventually leading to a world view in which we forgot that nature was going to react to our attempts to fully dominate it, in which the white “rational” humans felt righteous and justified in their exploitation of many non-white human groups. We will also talk about how understanding non-Western philosophies and values may help us solve the ecological crisis. 

    Discussion Questions: 
    • Do you feel anxious or even "frightened" about the future of our planet as young people feel in the survey mentioned in the introduction?
    • Who do you think is primarily responsible for the current ecological crisis?
    • Do you think there is a connection between the oppression of minorities in this country/the world and the climate crisis?
    • Apart from the environmentally-friendly gestures we perform in our daily lives (recycle, buy electric cars, limit the use of AC, etc.) what in your opinion are the most important steps we (the human race) should take to prevent or at least mitigate the climate disaster?
    • Do you think we as a school, in our curriculum, in our discussions, talk enough about non-Western ideas (history, religions, philosophies...)?

Fall 2021