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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

District D219 announces Cultural/Identity Anti-bias Education Summit

District+D219+has+recently+announced+a+change+in+the+affinity+summit+programs+that+have+been+held+in+previous+years+at+both+Niles+North+and+West.+To+ease+the+concern%2C+District+D219+has+announced+a+new+cultural%2Fidentity+day+which+is+set+to+take+place+in+April.
Lily Howard
District D219 has recently announced a change in the affinity summit programs that have been held in previous years at both Niles North and West. To ease the concern, District D219 has announced a new “cultural/identity” day which is set to take place in April.

Recently there has been some confusion on what is happening with the affinity summits that in previous years have been held at both Niles North, as well as Niles West. Students and staff were concerned that these summits may unfortunately be coming to an end starting this year, and into future years. 

However, in an attempt to end this confusion, an email was sent out to all District D219 community members in regards to the issue. The email starts off by emphasizing the large diversity that we have in our schools. It then goes on to explain that instead of the traditional summits that the schools have hosted, at both Niles North and West there will be “a full day Cultural/Identity Anti-bias Education Summit to honor and celebrate our vibrant diversity in cultures and identities while building community.”

This cultural/identity day is supposed to use past school-wide programs, student feedback, and other summits that have taken place, to allow students from all different cultural backgrounds the chance to “learn, engage, educate, unite and celebrate as a united student body.”

It is also highly stressed in the email that this new summit is not to remove the previous summits that have occurred, but rather incorporate different elements into a school-wide event that the whole school is able to enjoy. 

In an interview with Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Roszena Haskins she explains that one reason for the change in summits is to help answer the question, “How can we bring all people together; to be educated to raise our social consciousness so that we develop empathy and understanding of each other, so that when there is a group that really needs our support, or needs our love, we can pour into them because we understand?”

We recognize that there is tremendous value that students have reportedly experienced in having the affinity spaces, so that day will incorporate that aspect of the [affinity] spaces so that there’s emotional support for students who have shared experiences, challenges, and triumphs with peers who understand their uniqueness.”

— Deputy Superintendent Roszena Haskins

“We recognize that there is tremendous value that students have reportedly experienced in having the affinity spaces, so that day will incorporate that aspect of the [affinity] spaces so that there’s emotional support for students who have shared experiences, challenges, and triumphs with peers who understand their uniqueness,” Haskin said.

As of right now the posted dates for this cultural day are set to happen on April 17 at Niles North and on April 24 at West. 

However, even with these days set, there are still concerns as to how this new program is going to take effect. The past affinity programs have radiated many positive feelings for students and staff. They were used as safe places for groups to talk about issues that had occurred or any other feelings that they needed to get out. Due to this there is a fear that the once safe places students and even staff had, will now be compromised as result of the change in program. This feeling is even more increased based on the fact that this cultural day is still very vague and unknown as to exactly what it’s going to look like. 

As of right now students and staff are waiting to see how this new program will take place and the lasting effects it will have.

It is also important to mention that even with the change, allegedly it has been said if a cultural or identity group decided to host an affinity summit, then they would be allowed to do so, with district support.

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About the Contributor
Lily Howard, People Editor & Features Editor
Lily is a sophomore at Niles North. She is in debate, Mock law trial, and has been in journalism since the beginning of freshman year.

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