Meaningful dialogue, inviting diverse perspectives, backgrounds and ideas, was at the heart of the recent PossePlus Retreat, which brings together student leaders, faculty and staff. My colleagues, Natalie Herring, Associate Dean of Equity and Excellence, Teran Tadal, Associate Director of Equity and Excellence, Camille Green, Equity and Excellence Coordinator, and I were honored to be among the guests attending the weekend’s events. This year’s theme, “What’s Your Worth: Class, Power and Privilege in America,” allowed students and adults alike to dive into identity and heritage while pondering societal structure and constraints.
Throughout the weekend, I witnessed the strength in each individual’s voice and experienced the positive change which arose from voices converging.
I’m turning this post over to Natalie for insight into the three-day retreat and advice for high school students as they look for safe communities to share their unique perspectives:
“The PossePlus Retreat is really an important and personally involving three days. Participants emotionally and intellectually strip down—we are exposed through a variety of activities, workshops and discussions. The beauty of this retreat is that it becomes a microcosm of our learning community on campus. Participants of all shapes, sizes, colors, classes, interests, and ideas learn to support and engage one other, take well thought out risks, and become really good listeners.
For high school students: Finding a safe place to collaborate and share your identity starts with developing your own interests and passions. When I was in high school, I found a sub-community on the track team. This became my home away from home. Whether it’s a track, art room, dance studio, library or something else, by following your interests you will always find a supportive band of comrades. Know that if you follow your heart it will lead you to the right place, a space to deconstruct and strengthen. As you transition to college, you can use the same approach to find strong communities in what is often an environment full of opportunities.”