2020-21 Voices of Change Essay Series

community members activate advances in catlin gabel curriculum and culture

While diversity, equity, and inclusion work has been a growing priority for the school in recent years, community involvement has accelerated as well. Students, parents, teachers, staff, and alumni have stepped up and are helping drive our ongoing evolution by taking action. They’re forming affinity groups, partaking in conferences, initiating diversity-focused fundraising campaigns, collecting empirical data, and documenting their lived experiences. The following stories represent a small sampling of this involvement.

Sustaining the Energy

By Anushka Gupta ’21, Anti-Racism Collective (ARC) student leader

I’ve been at Catlin since kindergarten, and I’ve had a lot of personal experiences related to being an Indian person on campus and having two immigrant parents in the Catlin community. I think all of that just led me to know that I had to do something.

I’m one of the co-leaders of the ARC education team. And part of our work has been reviewing the mandatory ethnic studies class proposal. After presenting to the Board, we got some feedback that the experiences we were referencing so heavily—of students feeling marginalized and feeling like they stuck out on campus—weren’t apparent to those who were making decisions. So that’s what compelled me to do a student body race and ethnicity survey.

Survey questions focused on classroom environment, school curriculum, school culture, and then further reflection on anti-racism. And we got approval to send it out to the entire Upper School. We plan to standardize the survey, and I will be recommending that it be sent out every few years to track improvements and changes. For my senior project, I plan to work on the data analysis for the survey and create a summary that we will present to the Board.

If you look at the world around us right now, there’s so much energy coming from my generation. And I think the energy at Catlin is a microcosm of that. It’s a group of people who have a lot to say and a lot that they want to do. I think part of our work as leaders of ARC has been trying to sustain that energy, and making that connection with the Board and all of the other adults on campus who are making decisions.