Photo courtesy of Noah Czuj
Diversity Conference Inspires Junior
“I want to make our school a more open and welcoming place,” said GSA junior Noah Czuj of his motivation for attending the online Student Diversity Leadership Conference in the fall.
Noah participated in the four-day conference, organized by the National Association of Independent Schools, with more than 2,000 students from across the U.S. Though the conference addressed a wide range of diversity and equity issues, Noah said, the focus was on “racial issues in our society today.”
We heard “really inspiring” presentations and met in “family and affinity groups to address issues in the culture we are a part of.”
“I loved it. It was inspiring to hear other people’s stories and the work they do to make our country and the world a better place,” he said. “Learning about the cycle of oppression was very meaningful because it forces you to look at yourself and your part in our culture.”
Noah “took away so much from the conference” and has ideas about “how to make our school more welcoming,” something he hopes to get help with from the GSA Student Council.
He also would like to create a student diversity board to address any issues at school in an organized manner. He has social studies teacher Morgan Lowe, who encouraged him to participate in the conference, in mind as a possible advisor for the group.
His third idea is to provide a forum “for people to address concerns without being scared of repercussions.” To achieve that end, Noah would like to create a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) social media page “where members of our community can talk anonymously about things that happened to them,” he said, noting that he doesn’t want to speak for others. “I hope it will make a difference, but it will only work if people are open to learning and change.”
Students interested in joining Noah in these efforts should reach out to him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.