On Monday, January 16, journalist and media consultant Tiq Milan gave the keynote address to students, faculty and staff, at this year's Diversity Day Program.
Tiq spoke about empathy and inclusion. He shared stories of his life and how his transgender experience has informed his views on masculinity, race, and the gender binary. A journalist for over a decade, his work has appeared on MIC, Buzzfeed, NBC and CNN. He is also a strategic media consultant helping organizations and companies create detailed media campaigns that will engage diverse audiences in ways that are inclusive and authentic. He is Co-Founder of Milan Media Arts Productions along with his wife Kim Katrin Milan. MAPS is content creation and consulting firm that is dedicated to creating narratives of queer people and their allies.
He began today's keynote with a quote from environmentalist, Dr. David Orr, "The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind." Through the retelling of some of his own experiences, Tiq encouraged the audience to meet others were they are through empathy and inclusion.
Prior to the keynote, third and fourth form students participated in form-specific programs that were conceived of and coordinated by leaders of the Choate Diversity Student Association. Fifth and sixth form students met in the afternoon. The theme for this year's Diversity Day was "you don't know me 'til you know me." Student facilitators led each of these sessions, staging discussions on topics related to different social identifiers (e.g. gender, race, and sexual orientation).