On Friday March 27, 2015, Kent Place School hosted its school-wide Global Perspectives Day. This year’s theme, “Food,” allowed students, faculty and staff to learn about and discuss the various ethical, global, mathematical, scientific, historical, nutritional, sociological, literary, technological and cultural issues surrounding food.
“The conversations that I heard and the interactions and deep thinking that I witnessed made it clear to me that students, faculty and staff were engaged in critical thinking around issues of food,” stated Henaz Bhatt, Kent Place Director of Diversity. “They were asking questions such as: Where does my food come from? What are the human, environmental, sociological and political impacts of getting food to our table? What role do I play in the global food market? What are some of the cultural and religious influences on food habits? It is through these kinds of critical questions that students gain the competency ‘to live responsibly; to develop respect for herself and others in the global community,’ as our mission states.”
The full-day event, celebrated by all three divisions, included reflective discussions and hands-on activities. Students also listened to a variety of guest speakers: Amy Putman and Susan Pinkwater who marketed the Fair Food Program; Smriti Keshari, producer of the film Food Chains; Tiffani Brown and Maya Land, from the film A Place at the Table; an interview with Iron Chef UK and Kent Place alumna Judy Joo ‘93; and representatives from America’s Grow and Row and Ralston Farm.
Topics of the workshops conducted by our very own KPS faculty, staff, parents and students included: food in poetry, technology in the food industry, SNAP budgeting, GMOs, plant-based diets, the carbon footprint of food miles, the agricultural revolution, what the world eats, feasting and fasting, backyard chickens and more.
“The goal is to make Global Perspectives Day the starting point of the conversation, not an end unto itself,” continued Bhatt. “It is truly heartwarming to see how the students, faculty and staff are already being moved to action, driven by their own passion and commitment to being engaged and thoughtful global citizens.”
Global Perspectives Day was created to help build and sustain a bridge between diverse experiences and cultures. In giving the girls a day to immerse themselves in the perspectives of a vastly varied group of people, Kent Place hopes to provide them with meaningful exploration and understanding of the views of others and themselves as global citizens. For more information about diversity at Kent Place, please visit http://www.kentplace.org/diversity.