Students Strive for Inclusion: Introducing the New DEI Friars Team

     The beginning of the 2020-2021 school year welcomed the formation of a new club: the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team (better known as the DEI Friars).

     Moderated by Mr. Moland, this club aims to directly involve students in leading the conversation on diversity, equity, inclusion. This student club was created a few months after the introduction of the original DEI Committee of the Board.

      The DEI Board focuses on the larger components of inclusion around the school. The board was created in response to the nation-wide inequality and prejudices, which gained further attention this past May following the murder of George Floyd.

     The reactions of Fenwick students were tremendous, as they cried for the school to examine itself. Many of these students turned to @beingabipocfriar, an Instragram account that invites students to anonymously share their stories of racisim and discrimination. The DEI student club aims to encourage this student engagement to continue.       

     Senior Vivian Nguyen spoke about her reasoning for joining the team: “I joined because I want to help make a difference in our school [and] community, and [to] prevent things that I’ve heard [or] witnessed from repeating for future students.”

     Nguyen’s goals are shared by the rest of the team including Mr. Moland, who said, “The goals of this group will be to assist in the formation of a Fenwick environment and community that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion for all students.”

     A reported 30 percent of enrolled students are people of color. Mr. Moland explained how he hopes this club will help to better support these students: “The DEI Friars are focused on those things that affect students’ daily experiences.”

     Senior Belle Hart described the team’s current work: “DEI is currently discussing how to set up a student peer board, and an awareness curriculum for teachers in partnership with resources for students.”

     Additionally, there may be “Friar-side Chats or Game Days,” in which students will be able to mingle with classmates outside of their typical social circle, in hopes of unifying the student body. Mr. Moland hopes that the movement will not be limited to the club and will stretch farther beyond the students of Fenwick.

     The club is gaining momentum; however, Nguyen recognizes that this is “something that should have been established a long time ago.”

     Overall, the club plans to host several fun activities throughout the year that will aid in achieving their goals of inclusion. Emphasizing on the importance of the club, Harte said, “This club is important because all students deserve to feel equally appreciated and welcomed within these walls.” The current trajectory of the club appears to make this a reality and simultaneously displays that bigotry and racism will not be tolerated. In hopes of encouraging students to assist in bringing much needed change to the school, Harte implored, “whoever is reading this reach out and talk to someone who they believe is ‘different’ from them today.”