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“Diversity is a state of mind at Fenn. We start with the idea of inclusivity and emphasize respect and safety for all and the importance of having an open mind. Within this lies the opportunity for learning about ourselves, each other, and the ever-changing world. We are therefore ready to engage with any type of diversity.”

Tete Cobblah
Director of Diversity
Visual Arts Coordinator
Diversity News
“We are all different and we are all the same”: a teacher tells his story

It’s one thing to watch a film about what it’s like to be disabled; it’s another, and much more powerful, experience to listen to a teacher tell the story of living with a congenital disability that has both challenged and motivated him.

Social Studies Department chair and Diversity Committee member John Sharon has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a rare condition that limits muscle and bone growth and has affected his arms and legs. As his audience at a Respecting Differences Day presentation on April 4th listened raptly, he said six doctors told his mother that he wouldn’t live. And with his characteristic wit and humor, John added, “five of those doctors are now dead.” They also said John would not walk and that he would be, and he cautioned against using this word today, “retarded.” They advised his mother to put him in an institution and get on with her life.

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Fenn Professional Day features inspirational creator of World Peace Game

“I have an urgency to get this message across,” said John Hunter, an interdisciplinary learning specialist in Virginia, at the Multicultural Educators Forum held on Feb. 18 as Fenn’s winter Professional Day. Hunter’s soft-spoken, earnest delivery and his ability to inspire as well as to provide practical ideas which teachers could develop and employ were inspirational.

Hunter’s “message” turned out to be multi-pronged; among his observations were: “We need to learn how to incorporate failure into our lives,” “Impermanence is the underpinning of life,” “Students benefit most from a positive relationship with their teacher,” “Good teaching means allowing students to collaborate,” and “We have to teach kids to deal with what doesn’t yet exist.”

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Community “lets it shine” at 28th annual MLK Assembly

From student readings of poetry and prose including “Invictus,” the William Ernest Henley poem that Nelson Mandela recited to his fellow inmates when he was imprisoned, to the powerful “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round,” a freedom song performed by the Nobles and Greenough School Gospel Choir, the legacy of Mandela—the late anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African president—was honored at Fenn’s 28th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration held on January 17th in the Meeting Hall.

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