Conversations about race, racism, and social justice are challenging and messy, yet critically relevant.
On October 16th, nine of our seniors joined 80 other students from schools across York County for the YWCA’s annual Leadership Summit: Dialogue on Race. The Leadership Summit, held at York College, allows students a safe place to discuss and think through these issues. During the time together, they gained a better appreciation for how our society, including family, social media and other media outlets, has shaped our views. Students and educators are encouraged to reflect on their own implicit biases, while acquiring the tools to bring about transformation in their areas of influence.
Mr. Desmarais, Logos Academy’s upper school literature teacher, finds great value in such discussions, and was eager to bring his students to this annual event for the second year in a row. “The community of York and the greater American community struggle with racial discourse,” says Mr. Desmarais. “One of the goals of my senior level literature course, Voices from the Margins: Multicultural American Literature, is to create a space to have these challenging discussions in a way that embodies the principles of the Gospel. As followers of Christ, we are called to do the challenging work of racial reconciliation. We can only work towards this goal through recognizing how privilege manifests itself in society today, and addressing both interpersonal and structural racism.”
Students were divided into four large groups to discuss one of four different case studies that revealed implicit bias, privilege, and microaggressions: Trayvon Martin, 9/11, Hurricane Maria, and the film Black Panther. Led by select community leaders, students candidly shared, learned, and grew from the dialogues that ensued.
“It was very eye opening to hear everybody else’s views on race and how we should fix it,” says Jayden, one of our seniors that attended. “It was helpful to hear other ideas from other students in other schools of how they have worked to fix racism in their schools.”
Logos Academy is thankful to be a school full of cultural and ethnic diversity. We believe that God is the Creator of the diverse world He has gifted to us, and we embrace and celebrate the many different stories and heritages that make up York City and the surrounding communities. Still, we do not take our diversity for granted and are aware that the dialogue will continue as we seek to explore ways to empower our youth in the challenges they face.
We are grateful that the YWCA values young leaders in our school communities and offers these students a thoughtful experience that promotes change.
“It was a good experience to learn about different schools and their cultures and how Logos is different in that we can discuss issues related to race in ways that other schools cannot. The sessions provided a good opportunity to discuss race and to dig deeper to seek solutions.” -Zakeera, Logos Academy senior