Oberlin Diaries 5: Innovating Inclusion
I’m the minority here. The high school students in my sustainable business seminar embody far greater diversity than the cohort of professionals with whom I regularly work. I’m deeply invested in the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin program because more of my meetings should resemble the mix represented in this classroom. Making such pivotal educational opportunities more accessible is paramount. Despite good intentions, greater inclusion won’t just happen, it must be cultivated. Solving complex challenges often requires the wisdom of multiple perspectives. I’ve watched our students not just tolerate or overcome their differences, but rather combine, align and build upon them over the last month. Which doesn’t mean that everything always goes smoothly. However, living in close community for two weeks imbues these future leaders from across the country and world with a common experience, trusted bonds, and a sense of urgency that helps them navigate the occasional turbulence of collaboration. I continue to have my assumptions challenged and to learn from these motivated teens from backgrounds very different than my own, profoundly knowing that our success is dependent on theirs.
P.S. Due to robust demand this year, Foresight needs to raise $20K by August to cover the requisite scholarship resources to support the economically and racially diverse student body that is the program’s foundation. I would rather assume this challenge than turn away passionate, engaged and highly qualified students who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend. It only takes a minute to make a one-time, or monthly, tax-deductible donation at: www.foresightprep.org/donate. Is it worth it? I’d invite you to read some of this year's weekly e-postcards posted on the program’s homepage. Each of our students embraced uncertainty, courageously grasping the opportunity to positively inflect their trajectories and, quite possibly, ours.
Many thanks to those who have already contributed and made a difference!