For the past 13 years, the Williston Northampton School has set aside a special day to celebrate diversity in all its forms through special keynotes and community workshops. This year, the title of the event changed from “Diversity Conference” to “Diversity Symposium,” a nod to how much the event has grown. The symposium, entitled “Finding Your Purpose, Passion & Integrity,” will feature three keynotes and over 40 workshops, including eight with special guests.
“We are excited to have all members of our school community hear presentations directly relating to those three words central to Williston Northampton’s mission statement and strategic initiatives,” wrote Director of International Student Programs Meg Valine, who organized the event with Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Diversity Michael Shelton.
“[We] encourage everyone to pause, think, listen and reflect on how these three words from the school’s mission statement impact our lives,” she wrote.
The Diversity Symposium will begin on Thursday, February 19, with a keynote address at 7:30 pm in the Chapel. Speaker Thomas Smith, who will be addressing the theme of “Purpose,” is a former ice hockey player and has twice been paralyzed. Through his determination and hard work, he has regained much of his mobility and has since started a foundation to advocate for paralysis victims. He is also one of the individuals responsible for the “look-up lines” appearing in ice rinks across the country. Following his presentation will be a reception.
Friday starts with a series of student speakers addressing “Passion” at 8:30 a.m. in the Chapel. Students and faculty will then attend a morning workshop, meet as an advisory for discussion, have lunch, and then head into an afternoon workshop. The event concludes with our third keynote address on “integrity,” presented by Kerrita Mayfield, Ph.D., a long-time educator.
“The symposium offers a great opportunity for us to stretch ourselves, to learn new things, and to support members of our community,” noted Dean of Faculty Peter Valine.
Read on about the Diversity Symposium’s featured guests: