In 1984, former BB&N faculty member and parent Lewis Bryant organized the first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch to ruminate on Dr. King’s teachings and reflect on the current moment as a community. Now, 40 years later, Bryant’s vision is still strong as the community once again gathered on MLK Jr. Day for good food, friends, and conversations.
To mark this momentous milestone, this year’s brunch featured a panel of diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders in the Greater Boston region and parents at BB&N. Head of School Dr. Jennifer Price introduced speakers Carmen Arce-Bowen, Trustee and Parent ’28, Bethany Serota, Parent ’31, and Dr. Amy Marks, Parent ’29. In her opening remarks, Dr. Price stressed the continuing need to gather and reflect on the teachings of Dr. King.
Moderated by the Middle School DEIG practitioner Tiffany Rice, the panelists reflected on questions about identity, critical thinking, and growth in their work. Arce-Bowen noted that her upbringing in Mexico versus her experiences in the U.S. made her more resilient and brought a new perspective to her work. Similarly, Dr. Marks spoke about her multicultural upbringing as a woman of Native American descent and how that influences how she sees the world.
When asked about identity, Serota referenced the work of Dr. Liza Talusan, an identity-conscious educator who is working with BB&N faculty and staff this year. She cited the five main categories of diversity–race, class, sexual orientation, gender, and disability– and her location within those classifications as defining how she navigates her career.
Reflecting on the work and quotes of Dr. King, all three panelists noted that in DEI work, it’s important to identify who you can bring to the table to create the best outcome and solve the problems that existing systems enable.
In the same vein, they spoke about advancements in equity in their areas of expertise, citing the decades of prior work by countless others that helped them continue to make strides in collective DEI work.
With ongoing celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the BB&N merger happening throughout the year, it is vital to recognize the events and people that make our school and community what it is today.