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Annual Day of Dialogue Sees Changes in 2023

Paideia’s annual Day of Dialogue on race, which took place on Nov. 8, saw changes from previous installments both in structure and focus of the day. It received a wide range of reactions amidst Paideia’s attempts to cultivate a more racially aware and inclusive school community.

This year’s Day of Dialogue featured speakers Gyasi Ross, Stephanie Brown, and Tom Taylor in the first half of the day, followed by student-led workshops to give community members a more interactive experience after lunch. DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), SDLI (Student Diversity Leadership Initiative), and other student leaders had been planning the day since last year. 

“We have gone through many different iterations of what it would look like, but there are many times that we get ahead of ourselves,” says Director of DEI Oman Frame.  

To make extra time in the day, the school removed the race-based affinity groups that were featured last year. The focus of this year’s Day of Dialogue was visibility. “This year’s main change for the Day of Dialogue was an attempt to shift the focus from disenfranchisement to visibility…I wanted to create a space for kids to see and experience their world in a way that shared a common goal of recognizing and validating lived experiences,” says Frame. 

Students had mixed responses to this year’s changes to Day of Dialogue. One student says that “the highlights were definitely the speakers” but that they “would love to see the affinity groups come back…Although day of dialogue promotes unity among the community, many students find comfort in spending time with a community related to their affinity, as they all share more in common.” The student was generally positive about the day as a whole, though, commenting, “While I’d love to see more days in which there is some conversation about social issues, rather than just one day per semester, days of dialogue get students to, at the very least, think about issues, which promotes discussion.” 

“We are one community with many layers, and the world needs them to work this out now,” Frame says. “The adults have been trying to ‘fix’ it without perspective. Your generation can solve these issues of misunderstanding if we equip you with the ability to value and see the larger picture.” Day of Dialogue is part of Paideia’s evolving DEI plan, which people like Frame are currently working on expanding and adapting. Day of Dialogue’s purpose is clear, and the school continues to make adjustments to the day in an effort to maximize its impact in the Paideia community.

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