Breck students attend the 5th Annual Hawai'i DEI Conference

Breck students attend the 5th Annual Hawai'i DEI Conference
Breck students attend the 5th Annual Hawai'i DEI Conference

In February, Dean of Equity Jordan Zickermann, Chaske Weston ’24, and Gia Strom ’24 received a travel grant through the Steven's World Peace Foundation after being personally invited to attend the 5th Annual Hawai’i DEI Conference.  

After having met many Native Hawaiian individuals at the Student Diversity Leadership and People of Color Conference, ​Ms. Zickermann, Chaske, and Gia were highly impacted by the relationships they curated​.​ Together,​ they explored how Indigeneity can be experienced differently by those in different regions​​. ​They also explored how, in many ways, there are factors in which Indigenous people can relate.

DEI Conference in Hawaii

With the project for this experience being, “Exploring DEI through Cross-Cultural Indigenous Lenses,” the group’s primary objective was to further explore how Indigeneity is felt, understood, and explored in educational spaces. They anticipated this experience would provide them with a model/knowledge of creating a cross-cultural Indigenous affinity group at Breck, and it did just that. With Breck's current offerings supporting Native American and Latiné students, we have struggled to close the gap for our Alaskan Native, Native-Hawaiian, and Central-South American Indigenous students.

Upon returning back to Breck, Gia, Chaske, and Ms. Z invited Latiné and Native affinity students to an open dialogue. Together, they asked the question, “What does it mean to be Indigenous?” and explored pathways for continuing this conversation. As a part of the first pathway, Ms. Z will be leading a May Program called “Exploring Indigeneity: Straight From the Source.” This May Program will explore Indigeneity through both a local and worldview lens. In addition, students have requested quarterly connections for all Indigenous peoples, regardless of which lands they are Indigenous to. Students requested that we utilize this time to explore our similarities and differences in experiences. We are excited to kick this off in the spring.

It is without question that this opportunity guided us in our journey to supporting the diverse community at Breck School. This was a unique opportunity for exploration on sacred homelands in which they will forever cherish. Thank you to the Steven's World Peace Foundation and the Shanti Alliance for their support in bringing this opportunity to life.


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