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Diversity Day 2023: United in Difference

Diversity Day 2023: United in Difference

On Monday, January 16 Choate students, faculty, and staff gathered for the School’s 32nd Diversity Day. The program theme “United in Difference” emphasizes the intersection of shared experiences through differences in race, gender, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, geographical origin, and sexual orientation.

The School welcomed keynote speakers Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, and Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, to share their work and the continued legacies of two men with different approaches to a unified goal of ending oppression for marginalized groups. 

Following in the footsteps of his beloved and iconic grandfather, Ndaba Mandela has taken the torch – and ran with it. Ndaba is the co-founder and co-chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation and serves as an executive director for UN AIDS. Ndaba was recently named one of the “28 Men of Change” by BET.

Ilyasah Shabazz is an author, educator, and producer. To preserve the legacy of her parents, she serves as Co-Chairperson of the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Following a performance by one of the School's a cappella groups, The Melatones, Shabazz and Mandela were introduced by Oona Yaffe ‘23 and Cory Williams ‘23 respectively. A question and answer segment of the programming was led by Dr. Rachel Myers, Dean of Equity and Inclusion. Throughout the day, upwards of thirty-five workshops were offered for students, faculty, and staff. Programming included film screenings, workshop sessions, and discussions on topics such as, “History, Narrativity, and Dismantling Master Narratives”, “Race and Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Issues”, and “Overcoming Differences through Debate”. A debrief of the day took place in advisory on Tuesday, January 17. 

Held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day since 2014, this year’s Diversity Day is spearheaded by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Choate Diversity Student Association (CDSA), and over 100 workshop facilitators across campus.

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