A step in the right direction

A+step+in+the+right+direction

Rebecca Dworkin, Staff Reporter

On January 12, Angela Crosby, director of multicultural affairs and girls basketball coach, facilitated a discussion with both faculty and students over google meet regarding the recent events of the storming of the capitol as well as events occurring over the past year. 

“We wanted to address how to emotionally, spiritually handle what happened and not just what happened at the capitol but what has happened in the last year,” Crosby stated.

The meeting was meant to provide a safe place for faculty and students to share their thoughts, opinions, and feelings in a non judgemental environment.

“A lot of our talk dealt with how to have conversations when people disagree,  or don’t necessarily feel the same way about things, but how to have a conversation about things we do agree about which is being a child of Christ and being in a community where we love and support each other,” Crosby said.

“[The meeting] wasn’t necessarily about hearing different opinions as it was about a meaningful dialogue,” college counselor Susan Reilly said.

Many teachers and students felt that this meeting was crucial to the future Mount Pisgah Community.

“It’s a conversation that will lead to a domino effect for conversations to happen in the future,” coach Aaron Winchester said.

The discussions happening today better prepares students, teachers, and staff for the years to come. 

“[These discussions] are really vital for preparing our students to be successful in college and also to be good citizens once they leave Mount Pisgah,” Reilly said.

Winchester relates the school’s motto of ‘College prep, Life ready’ to these meaningful conversations. He stated that the discourse happening now is important for the community and nation as a whole.

“It’s important to ask those tough questions and prepare our students for what’s really going to come,” Winchester said. “Conversations like that need to happen and it’s not going to be the most pleasant thing or the easiest thing to happen but I think it’s very, very important.”

“Anybody, regardless of what background you come from, it’s never a bad thing to learn from somebody else,” Winchester added. “It’s never a bad thing to hear people out and hear their point of views and how they view things and how they receive information.”

“What struck me more was hearing different thoughts and feelings from those who spoke it really wasn’t a debate,” Reilly said.“It wasn’t necessarily about hearing different opinions as it was about a meaningful dialogue.”

With both faculty and students participating in the discussion, different perspectives and point of views are presented. 

“Not only do you have perspective from different people, there’s also age differences,”  Winchester said. “There’s some things that I might go through as a 24 year old man that maybe an older teacher might have gone through. As students, y’all might see things through a different lens than I do just based on the time frame and what you’re exposed to at this time in your life.”

“I think it’s extremely important for everybody to be involved for not only that aspect but to show that we are a community, we are for one another, we are a part of one another and we are a family so we all need to be a part of those types of conversations,”  Winchester said.

“I definitely encourage more students, especially students right now; as [they’re] going through the next phase of [their] life with a school career or going into the workforce,” Winchester added. “[They’re] going to be presented with these issues so why not learn now.”

Crosby has started and directed the Diversity Committee this year. She is ecstatic about the student and teacher involvement and believes it to be a great start to understanding and growing from the recent events as well as previous events.

“These are students who are ready, willing, and passionate about serving our community,” Crosby said. “I just have been humbled by their work ethic, their attitudes, and their willingness. I also appreciate our faculty and staff who are interested in making all students feel included, safe, and heard and that’s tough to do in an environment that we’re living in.”

Her goal is to bring healing into our community so that we can understand one another better and be better prepared to support each other as a family in Christ.

“That’s what excited me the most is the opportunity to be a part of bringing all those parts together and growing in Christ together,” Crosby said.

There will be more meetings in the future where everyone is invited to attend.

“My goal for the next one is to get information out sooner and have more students involved,” said Crosby. “This particular discussion was somewhat of a response to what is going on but also to develop a norm that the diversity department would have these discussions and that all people are invited to be there and to share.”