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Talk About Giving Back! Altruistic UNIS Student Defines Caring DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS:

Three Dedicated Diversity Directors



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Dion E. Clarke




UNIS 11TH GRADER Giving Back on a Global Scale


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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S DR. PEARL ROCK KANE Diversity Begins at the Head of the Class


CONVERSATIONS WITH DIVERSITY DIRECTORS: - Bank Street School For Children, New York City - Newark Academy, Livingston, New Jersey - Convent of The Sacred Heart, Greenwich, Conn.

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EDITOR’S CLOSING COMMENTS Plus Content Overview of Future Diversity Preps

w w w. d i v e r s i t y p r e p . c o m 3


NEW MAGAZINE CELEBRATES DIVERSITY IN THE LIVES OF HIGH-ASPIRING TEENAGERS WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF DIVERSITY PREP. As publisher, it’s my honor and pleasure to introduce this new media publication and website to give voice and expression to teenage students and how their lives are

A Teen Lifestyle Publication

Diversity Prep is a quarterly publication and website that recognizes and celebrates multiculturalism in the academic and social lives of teens and gives voice to their teachers, school administrators and parents. It is published by Diversity Prep LLC. All Rights Reserved.

impacted in and out of school by diversity. We see Diversity Prep as a cutting-edge lifestyle magazine that recognizes diversity as a complex phenomenon in teenage lives, from their uses of new media, to courtship, to hero identification, to even their career aspirations and friendships. But Diversity Prep is also a

Dion Clarke

forum for parents, administrators, teachers and alumni of prep schools to share their victories and challenges so that all can learn

Chief Executive Officer/Publisher Chief Financial Officer Associate Publisher – Atlanta Editor and Chief Editor at Large Managing Editor Editorial Writer Diversity Internet


and grow on the road that is still being paved. There will be profiles of people who are making a difference in education, sports and music, as well as features on health, fitness, technology, financing college and more. All designed for the new voices of America, the next generation of leaders. Got something to say? Diversity Prep is a place for your voice to be heard. Every issue is developed around articles and essays written by you - the teen students, parents, educators, and academic administrators. You can see your thoughts, hopes, and opinions come to life on the pages and website of Diversity Prep. I am counting on and requesting your input to make Diversity Prep all that it can be and a reflection of a global teen

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Editor’s Note: A few months ago, the self-help and guidance website,, conducted an interview with one of the leading veteran advocates of diversity in the private school world – Dr. Pearl Rock Kane. An esteemed educator and administrator, Dr. Kane is best known in academic circles as the director of the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University's Teachers College and professor in the Department of Organization and Leadership. Because the content of her interview with’s Robert Kennedy was so in sync with the agenda of Diversity Prep,

DIVERSITY we are reprinting, with permission, an excerpt from their discussion.


An Interview with Dr. Pearl Rock Kane How is your school doing in terms of faculty diversity? As a whole, private schools are making progress in increasing staff diversity. Since 1987, private schools have increased the number of teachers of color from 4% to 9% today. While that fails to reflect the variety in the population at large, it is still a significant advance. In the interview, Dr. Kane was optimistic that most private schools are walking the walk and talking the talk.


“I think most private schools are making more of an effort to take diversity on campus seriously,” she says. “Some may be simply paying lip service to the issue; but the difference is the commitment on the part of the schools' leadership.” “A school that is truly committed to increasing diversity will have all its key personnel involved in the process – from the

headmaster to the diversity coordinator – and will be intent upon making some commitment to addressing the issue with a long term outlook.” However, Dr. Kane argues that not all private schools are ready to embrace diversity and need to seriously address their school’s social environment before hiring teachers or administrators of color. "The true make-or-break issue of hiring teachers of color may be the human factor,” she says. “Independent school leaders may need to re-evaluate the climate and atmosphere of their schools. Is the school truly a welcoming place where diversity is tangibly honored?” Dr. Kane is also the editor of two books, The Colors of Excellence and The First Year of Teaching.




nternational understanding is something vital, something that springs from our knowledge and acceptance of other cultures and the issues that face us in the world today. At my age, 16, I look at the world through the eyes of an idealist. Perhaps I’m too innocent, too naïve, but I think that idealism is necessary; it is the way mankind can move forward. I demonstrate my own international understanding through a variety of ways, but the three most significant are the work I do for the Human Rights club at the United Nation’s International School (UNIS), my involvement in the UNIS-UN conference, and the volunteer work I do during the summers in India. In Human Rights, we organize a conference each year based on a different topic we think is important in terms of universal, basic rights, such as the rights of indigenous people. Climate change and how it impacts on peoples’ lives is one of those topics. The UNIS-UN conference is an entirely student-run conference which meets annually to discuss and learn about pressing issues facing us today, like alternate energy sources, the role of corporations and the food crisis. We invite roughly three hundred students from schools all over the world with the primary aims of educating ourselves through a free and open forum of discussion and awareness. During my summers, I work at an orphanage in Bangalore, India, teaching children from ages three to twelve English and Mathematics. I also work with the special needs children, most of who are either physically or mentally disabled. No matter how young or idealistic I may be, I can still nurture change, and find my own solutions to global issues.


Born in New York City to Indian parents who are not UN diplomats, Avani Mehta is an 11th grader who aspires to become a poet or neuroscientist.






ZENY MUSLIN sk Zenaida Muslin what it takes to foster diversity in an independent school and she’ll tell you “conversation.” A Spanish teacher, “Zeny,” (as she is affectionately named by colleagues and close friends) is the diversity coordinator at the Bank Street School for Children, a 91-year-old institution on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that goes from nursery school through eighth grade. Of the 430 students, 33 percent are people of color.


Tell me about your early days here and how the diversity mission unfolded? I began at the Bank Street School as a Spanish teacher 19 years ago. The school has always been ahead in bringing in students and teachers of color and they were feeling very comfortable with themselves. But they had teachers of color who were feeling uncomfortable and a little powerless. How did a sense of powerlessness lead to a diversity program at the Bank Street School? People who feel powerless find other people who feel powerless and they talk to each other. Is that what happened to you? Well, teachers would come to my classroom to talk. I thought they were doing it because I was a little older and had experience in other private schools and in Europe, but later they told me it was because I was the only one with a classroom [Laughing]. So what did the teachers talk about and what was communicated to the administration? Well, at that time, there hadn’t been any discussion about situations that might cause discomfort to students of color and it turned out that parents of children of color were also having their own informal meetings. So we brought on board the concerns of those parents. I was a Spanish teacher with no thoughts of a diversity coordinator job, but I love working with people and figuring things out. What’s the key to making diversity work? Addressing diversity issues is not like reading a book. It requires a lot of conversation. It affects people’s lives, educational policy, leadership and economics. I became involved with a whole other part of the school. 10


MARQUIS SCOTT THRIVES ON NEWARK ACADEMY’S MULTICULTURAL ATMOSPHERE s a multi-tasker, Marquis Scott loves to be challenged. Not only is he the director of information technology responsible for all things digital at the prestigious Newark Academy in Livingston, N.J.; not only is he the varsity assistant coach of the high school’s high-flying championship boys basketball team – the conference champions for six of the past eight years; but Scott wears a third hat as an advisor to students, parents and the administration on all things multicultural and inclusive. Specifically, as the diversity coordinator, he works to promote multicultural awareness and understanding in the student community and beyond, and removing communication barriers wherever and whenever possible. “My primary role is to support our students, parents and faculty of color in any way I can,” he says. “Because of that I see my role as a facilitator. “I’d say my biggest challenge is working with our parents of color. There are so many variables that prohibit them from meeting all at one time. But I constantly challenge myself to make it happen.” The 31-year-old Scott had the option and the skills after college to go into finance. But a desire to work with kids was stronger. Scott is most proud of and involved in the Summer Bridge Program that tutors and enhances the chances of success for highaspiring kids who need to beef up their academic preparation before school starts in the fall. The program provides back-up support the students entire four years. With tuition at $27,600 to attend Newark Academy – one of the nation’s oldest private schools at 235 years old and a student body of 560, 18 percent students of color – Scott says class differences has become a discussion of diversity. “I receive great satisfaction from helping everyone strive for a successful experience, he says.”


ight from the jump, it might appear that a prep school with a religious orientation and an all-female student body would have certain built-in challenges embracing diversity. But history teacher Dave Olson, head of the Middle School and co-chair of the multicultural and diversity team at Convent of the Sacred Heart, in Greenwich, Conn., says diversity is alive and thriving at his school. He has been with the 161-year-old institution since 2005 and has previously taught the history of Africa, Latin America and the U.S.


Can a school that eliminates half of the population and is based on religion really put diversity into play? We believe at Sacred Heart that our students, parents, faculty and staff members will have a richer and more relevant experience through working side by side with people from different backgrounds. We are proud at Sacred Heart that we first hired a director of diversity in the early 1990s and were one of the first Fairchester schools to create a position related solely to diversity initiatives. But what about students from other religions? We have a unique challenge to diversity at Sacred Heart. As an independent Catholic school for girls, we have a targeted population: all girls! But religiously, we are uniquely situated to support the students’ expression of faith, whatever faith they profess. While being a Christ centered institution, we foster inter-religious acceptance and a deep respect for all religions of the world. In reality, 25 percent of our students are from other religious traditions. What is the racial and ethnic breakdown of your student body? Sacred Heart’s student population consists of 777 girls in grades PS through 12. Despite being a day school, our students come from 65 different zip codes in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Nineteen percent of our students are students of color, primarily African American, Asian, Latina and multi racial. In addition, 7 percent of our students are international. 11


WHEN I SAY DIVERSITY, WHAT DO YOU HEAR? Some people seem to think that the word “Diversity” is a code word for African-American. That may have been true a generation ago, but in Diversity Prep’s world, diversity is the acknowledgment and acceptance of all members of our entire society. Diversity is a calculus teacher whose background is Korean, a world lit teacher who was educated in Ghana and an art teacher whose family came from India. Tying the word to one racial or ethnic group defeats the whole idea of diversity. President Barak Obama typifies our diversity – an outstanding American whose DNA reflects the variety of people living on earth today. It’s possible that some of the people who try to dominate the discussion of diversity want to lay claim to being the “majority minority.” In America, people of color are fast becoming a majority of the population. There is little or nothing to be gained by looking for group self-interest to set ourselves apart when there is so much to gain by pulling together. The issues of diversity go far beyond the issue of race and skin color. Diversity points to the universal need to know and understand people different than ourselves – people with different cultural backgrounds, socio-economic backgrounds, educational backgrounds. It is by adding diversity to our lives that we grow as individuals and as citizens. So when Diversity Prep says “diversity,” what do you think now?





McDonald’s co-founder Ray Kroc famously told his franchisees one day, “none of us is as good as all of us.”

Diversity Prep Looks At Teens

In that little, simple statement is the essence of diversity and by extension, the mission of Diversity Prep: to celebrate multicultural inclusion in the independent, preparatory school Milford Prewitt

Diversity Prep– News, opinions and features that inform, educate and celebrate the voices of diversity


My name is Milford Prewitt and it is my proud pleasure to introduce myself to you as the founding editor of Diversity Prep, a quarterly lifestyle magazine for and by high-aspiring teenagers and their

among students and administrators at private and college preparatory schools.

immersion in all that is considered multicultural and inclusive. But we also hope to be a forum and sounding board for teachers, parents and administrators. I come from the world of business journalism, having enjoyed an award-winning career as the national affairs editor at Nation’s Restaurant News, where I oversaw the weekly’s national and international news coverage. Prior to that, I was a general assignment reporter for several years with such renown publications as The Baltimore Sun, The Milwaukee Journal, The Oakland Tribune and the Associated Press.

We’re excited to introduce to you Diversity Prep, a new quarterly publication that will roam the social and academic landscapes of teens and their involvement with diversity and multicultural inclusion. With their teachers, administrators and parents support, these teens represent the next generation of future leaders who, whether from struggling working-class families or are nestled in upper-class affluence, share one common pursuit: a yearning for educational excellence. We hope you find Diversity Prep a unique glimpse into their world.

I am also a graduate of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, formerly known as the Summer Program for Minority Journalists, at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. Named after and founded by the late Pulitzer Prize winning black Washington Post reporter Bob Maynard, the MIJE executed diversity in the newsrooms of America’s top newspapers long before diversity was in vogue and in most cases, challenged. To assist me, we have assembled a skilled and educated team of reporters and editors nationwide. We will be working with students who will write much of the content of Diversity Prep, along with their teachers and administrators.

SO WHAT ARE WE ABOUT ANYWAY? • An inter-school communication network that

discusses diversity in the prep school environment. An outlet to express diversity issues through creative writing and reporting that supports their academic achievement. • An opportunity for students to have their writing published. • A positive forum to encourage students to discuss diversity issues with their peers, parents, teachers and administrators. •

Each quarter, students will write columns on how their lives are shaped by diversity and what it means to them. We will have teams of student reporters covering their schools’ sports activities, special events and sharing stories of summer vacations filled with community involvement. There will be a column on the digital universe. A medical doctor will supply us with a column on health issues important to teenagers and a Wall Street pro will have a financial column for parents and students on saving, scholarships, investing, managing allowances and more. We hope to be engaging and look forward to your input on our efforts. Wish us luck.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET THIS DONE? Written, edited and designed by a seasoned multicultural staff of educators, publishing professionals and journalists, Diversity Prep features lead stories highlighting social, economic and academic issues of importance to teens, their teachers and parents. We will have, in time, student news teams to share their schools’ achievements and offer personal opinions about hot button topics on their minds. Diversity Prep hopes to develop critical thinking in students as they explore the diversity issues that impact their daily lives and educational experiences. As a source of positive diversity messages, we hope it promotes dialogue among all diversity stakeholders in the academic community and allied enthusiasts.

WHAT WILL YOU FIND INSIDE DIVERSITY PREP Publisher Dion Clarke talks about the promise and perspective of diversity within the private and college preparatory world and details the focus of each issue. Every issue of Diversity Prep features the interests, views and opinions of teens in their own words. English and Journalism teachers are encouraged to develop student news teams to submit articles to the magazine for publication. Physically challenged students will also have a voice in Diversity Prep, with a signature column.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY One of our hallmarks in this issue and in those to come will be portraits of diversity pioneers and current trailblazers who promote leadership and life skills among high school and college students. Diversity directors and headmasters who are making a difference will be the subjects of these profiles. For example, be sure to read the profile of Dr. Pearl Rock Kane in this issue. She is a leading authority on diversity in teaching and school administration and the editor of The Colors of Excellence. We also interview Zeny Muslin, the Grande Dame of New York City’s diversity coordinators as a pioneer at the Bank Street School for Children.

COLUMNS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE From sports to health, to entertainment to the digital world, to family financial strategies for saving for college, Diversity Prep will bring an array of specialized column topics containing news teens and their families can use. Among these will be: • Ask Dr. Wanda, by Dr. Wanda McCoy. Explores health issues on the minds of teens, beginning with the current Swine Flu epidemic and why the young are the most vulnerable; • Mind Your Money is our advice column for families on college financing strategies, written by Donna Sotolongo, director of the StuFund Knowledge Center, Liberty Corner, N.J.

UPLIFTING ORGANIZATIONS A silent and little-known army of progressive, community-minded organizations occupy different spaces where academia and diversity intersect. For example, in this issue we celebrate the Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students, or DAIS - a student-run organization with representatives from over 60 schools in New York City, Westchester and Connecticut. Once a month, usually on a Friday, teens debate and discuss all aspects of the challenges of diversity, including dating, school and community affairs, events from the news and personal encounters. We also look at A Better Chance, an organization that has been assisting independent schools to help them broaden their enrollment to include students of color and the economically disadvantaged but academically gifted since 1963.

Sports Spot will be both a student-written and professionally reported column on sporting and fitness activities among teens and their high schools; • Tech Trends will also be student-written or professional reporting on digital products and services that are popular with teens in their social lives and studies; • What’s Current, the state of diversity in entertainment and culture as seen and perceived through the eyes of teens and; •

The Family Resource Center closes each issue of Diversity Prep with more news families can use. Focused on relevant conventions, available scholarships and useful school directories.

FAMED COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH FOUND VICTORY THROUGH DIVERSITY Diversity Prep features in our next issue a close-up interview with the legendary and popular former college basketball coach Lou Carnesecca, who compiled an impressive 526 wins and 200 losses over a 24year career at St. John’s University in Queen’s, New York. Although St. John’s Redmen’s mens basketball team never won an NCAA Championship, Carnesecca would contribute to a program that would become the fifth most winningest in the history of college sports and boast a team of alumni who would go on to not only excel in the National Basketball Association, but also in the world of business. But without diversity as his secret weapon, Coach Carnesecca tells Diversity Prep he would not have been so successful.

For example, in this issue we attended the National Association of Independent Schools annual and inspiring People of Color Conference in Denver. • We preview our own Diversity Prep Educational Fair at the Continental (Izod) Arena in New Jersey. • We also have a broad listing of prep schools in the tri-state and Atlanta areas. • So you see, we hope to serve you well and earn your support. And most importantly, we’d like to hear from you to let us know when and where we err. •

–The Diversity Prep editorial staff







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