Marked by a major change of name, the Deerfield Diversity Alliance, formerly known as the Diversity Task Force, is working to increase the organization and responsibility which come with positions of leadership associated with the group.
“The new streamlining makes people think we’re serious,” said Associate Director of Admissions and faculty advisor to the DDA Tarah Greenidge. “This year, we have the right people in leadership positions and were ready to make this move”
“Students seem more dedicated this year,” explained James Yang ’12, president of the Asian Student Alliance. “It’s a lot more work then I expected, but we feel responsible.”
“It’s definitely more consistent. Last year the DBSC met in the fall, but only once in the winter, and a few times in the spring,” said Kelechi Akusobi ’12, president of the Deerfield Black Student Alliance. “With biweekly meetings, there’s an expectation every other week that we’ll prepare something.”
The DDA meets as a whole on the first of each month to discuss current progress and problems. Each Alliance has pre-scheduled biweekly meetings and a mission statement that can be found on the Daily Bulletin. There is also an expectation that the each alliance will contribute to Kaleidoscope, Deerfield’s diversity magazine.
Along with the DDA’s name change, each of its subgroups has altered their names to include “alliance.”
The DDA also sent four representatives, Rajab Curtis ’12, Chris Ortega ’13, Lindha Kengne ’14, and Maria Martinez ’14, accompanied by Ms. Greenidge and Associate Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Hammond, to the Peoples of Color Conference in Philadelphia at the beginning of the month.
The conference, sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools, is a meeting of students associated with the diversity groups at their respective independent schools around the country. There were speakers, workshops, and student-led discussions. Students were able to bring ideas and methods to which they were exposed at the conference back to campus.
“Most of the changes in format in MLK day last year were ideas that Tatiana [Soto ’11] and Abby [Cacho ’13] brought back from last year’s conference,” said Ms. Greenridge. “It’s always exciting when you get to go. It’s a meeting of 1500 minds.”