Saturday Summit of Social Justice returns for its sixth year


Josh Barshay

Seniors Cameron Lovett, Alexis Estime, and Ashleigh Woodruff in the Doc Wilson Hall during Saturday Summit of Social Justice.

Matthias Jaylen Sandoval, Opinion Editor

On Saturday, Nov. 19, in collaboration with Rye Country Day School, Masters hosted its 6th annual Saturday Summit for Social Justice. The social justice conference was filled with student-facilitated workshops that focused on many topics like code-switching, environmental justice, representation, privilege, and more. The day also included several affinity groups for both students and faculty, along with keynote speaker Ashley Lipscomb, the founder of The Institute For Anti-Racist Education.

Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Rye Country Day School, Ali Morgan first co-founded the program with the previous director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Karen Brown six years ago. Since then, the conference has flourished into an annual tradition. Morgan said, “It’s a ton of work but it’s so worth it. Every year the youth inspire us and show us that we need to continue to have space for our young people and adults because they have so much in them that needs to be brought out. They understand and experience the world in ways that we need to listen to and they need a platform for that.” 

Saturday Summit required all hands on deck from students and faculty for the conference to come to life. Associate Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Masters, Selas Douglas said, “I’m so proud of the work that all the adults put in to make this happen and am so proud of all the student facilitators that made it happen. All of the workshops were run by students, and all of that came from the work that they put in to make this event come to fruition.”

Sophomore Olivia Dittman of Rye Country Day School facilitated a workshop about code-switching and enjoyed her experience. She said, “I thought Saturday Summit was a very fun experience. I’ve never done something like this before. It was amazing to be a facilitator and also educate myself along the way.” 

Masters sophomore and Diversity Ambassador Isabella Vargas was another student facilitator that partnered with Dittman on the code-switching workshop. Vargas shared similar sentiments as Dittman, saying, “This is my first year as a diversity ambassador, so I was nervous about having to speak in front of people as a facilitator, but once the workshops began, it was much smoother than I thought it’d be. Although we were discussing heavy topics, the mood felt light and everyone was so open with each other and that created a safe and comfortable environment.” 

Vargas then noted how inspirational the speaker Ashley Lipscomb was. Vargas said, “The speaker had a way with words that brought everyone together about how we could better ourselves and our own mindset in order to have a better approach at civil discourse.”

 Senior Kuorkor Ashie expressed the value and importance of having affinity spaces for people who share the same identities. She said, “At a predominantly white institution, it’s so important to have spaces where you feel seen and heard by people who share the same identity as your own. The Black Affinity Group and Saturday Summit connected me with other black students at private schools in the area, building a network of support for success.”

At the end of the conference, all the participants were rewarded for their hard work and attention with a dance party in the Doc Wilson Hall, where everyone joyfully got together and danced the night away.