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Eight Lincoln Students Attend the AISNE Middle School Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference

On Saturday, November 2, eight Lincoln Middle Schoolers joined Visual Arts Department faculty member Lawrence Timmins and Director of the Center for Justice, Peace, and Global Citizenship Dr. Barret Fabris at the Association of Independent Schools in New England’s (AISNE) Middle School Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference at Belmont Day School. 

They joined 34 other New England independent schools in an immersive day of learning about others through engaging, interactive, inspiring, and enjoyable workshops and lectures that spoke to the theme of this year’s conference–Diversity without Divisiveness. This theme asked students to think about how we can make changes and express the need for progress and justice without alienating those who disagree. 

Throughout the day, students heard from two keynote speakers–award-winning author Kwame Alexander, and Schuyler Bailar, the first openly transgender NCAA Division 1 swimmer. They also attended workshops that focused on a variety of topics, such as developing empathy for others through storytelling, recognizing fake news, interactive dance, and understanding gendered pronouns. 

The day was full of learning and reflection and the girls look forward to sharing their experience with their classmates. Here are some of their takeaways:

  • I learned that there is a difference between sex, sexual identity, sexual orientation, and sexual expression. They all mean something different, and you should not assume any of them.
  • I learned how people's identity affects them and certain events in their lives.
  • I learned a lot about code switching and how everyone does it, whether they're switching between languages or how they act with their friends at school vs. out of school.
  • Lincoln can improve by spreading more awareness about mental illness and disabilities.
  • I heard things about race in my conference that completely shifted my view and I'm wondering how many misconceptions we are exposed to in our everyday lives and learnings.
  • We should increase the amount of diversity and LGBTQ+ talk in the Middle School.
  • We should put more attention on pronouns, ex. putting pronouns at the bottom when sending emails.