Diversity and Leadership

UPrep comes together to learn and grown during Social Justice Day


Photo: Photo: Grace Silverman

Students gather together in the gym for Social Justice Day. The event brought the Middle and Upper School together to participate in tracks composed of all members of University Prep.

By Ian Lee, Reporter

University Prep students came together to learn and grow around the theme of leadership in the context of different backgrounds during Social Justice Day. The day included students participating in different tracks, and featured student speakers, as well as guest speakers Seattle City Council candidate Shaun Scott and photographer, author and activist Sharon Chang.

“[Social Justice Day] was framed around leadership because leadership is different for people of different identities, and that the pathways into leadership are different,” Director of Diversity and Community E-chieh Lin said. Lin explained this focus led to a diverse range of tracks including Leadership to Diversify STEM and White Anti-Racist Leadership.

This year, faculty and staff were responsible for creating the tracks, though some students were invited to contribute to them by teachers who thought student input would be valuable.

“I wanted this year to be a year where students could be a part of it and lead if they wanted to,” Lin said.

Junior Dylan Hart was a member of the delegation of UPrep students who went to the Student Diversity Leadership Conference earlier in the year. Due to his role, he played more of part in contributing to Social Justice Day than other students.

“The team who went to SDLC created the opening. We had several meetings to plan the order of speakers and videos,” Hart said.

Hart, who was a member of the multi-racial affinity group and the multi-racial leadership track stepped up to take more of a leadership role this year.

“Leading the multi-racial affinity group, I was really excited and hopeful to get ideas to apply elsewhere,” said Hart.

Overall, the track went well for him.

“I really enjoyed the track. There were lots of activities that empowered the students in that room, and it felt really good to be with everyone,” Hart said.

In the future, more students like Hart will be able to contribute and lead more aspects of Social Justice Day.

“Next year will be another year where we will do workshops, and I would ask the students what they want to do,” Lin said. Similar to the workshops that occurred for Social Justice Day last year, students will have more opportunities to plan and lead.

A large part of Social Justice Day is what students can take away from it.

“I think [Social Justice Day] gave me a sense of understanding in myself and the community here that often does not get represented,” Hart said.