Community Programming and Activities: 2022-23

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Rebekah Adens, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; Sister Danielle Gagnon, RSM, Director of Mission and Ministry; Nadia Vaquer ‘23, and Marianne Grace, Head of School

 

On September 15, seniors Isabella Hennessy Velazco and Nadia Vaquer introduced Hispanic Heritage Month during our Weekly Reset assembly. 

During the week of October 5, we celebrated the Spanish language and associated cultures and communities with a variety of events planned in collaboration with the Hispanic & LatinX Affinity Group, Spanish Club, and student leaders. Activities included:

  • Prayers in Spanish & English

  • Spanish music in hallways between classes

  • Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month presentations by Hispanic & Latinx Affinity Group members at GMM

  • Kahoot Trivia game

  • Zumba in the gym

  • Traditional dessert contest 

  • Camisetas en español/ T-shirts in Spanish

On October 6, Nadia Vaquer ‘23 gave a Weekly Reset reflection on her life experience as a Latin American and how her involvement in Merion’s Latinx affinity group helped her gain the confidence to be proud of who she is and of her heritage.

 

Through the Lens of Mercy: An In-Depth Look at Racism

In October 2022, Head of School Marianne Grace and Director of Marketing and Communications Kim Shimer had the privilege of attending a Mercy Education conference at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The theme was “Through the Lens of Mercy: An In-Depth Look at Racism.” Racism is one of the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concerns and calls us to work to become an anti-racist community – committed to eliminating personal and institutional racism and dismantling oppressive structures, policies and processes. Read more.

 

Día de los Muertos

Dia de Muertos alter

 

Merion Mercy's Language Department built this alter to celebrate el Día de los Muertos, which is observed November 1 - 2, to coincide with the celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. It is a cultural practice celebrated in Mexico, parts of Central America, and in places where there are Mexican populations. Día de Muerto is a time to remember and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones with offerings, photos and decorations like papel picado banners and cempasúchiles (marigolds).  Learn more about Día de Muerto

 

2022 NAIS People of Color Conference

In early December 2022, Rebekah Adens, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, attended the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference in San Antonio, TX. The theme was "Reunited in Purpose: Elevating Our Worth, Our Agency, and Our Excellence."

Five Merion Mercy students participated in the simultaneous NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference, a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the U.S. and abroad. As part of Merion's commitment to diversity and equity leadership in the student body, students of color and allies spent time reflecting on issues of diversity and community. MMA participants were Sylvia Barnes'23, Autumn Drake '23, Ti'Yan Driggins '23, Lauren Lindsay '24, Dani Pagan '23, and Jonae Thomas '24.

Autumn wrote of the experience: "The most memorable part of the Student Diversity Leadership conference was meeting new people with similar experiences to me. The conference ended up being a safe place for students to grow and learn with each other. The most interesting thing I learned about was the eight core identifiers in life: race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, age, religion, ability, and family structure. They helped us to realize how these identifiers may or may not be connected to one another depending on a person’s life since we all have unique experiences. SDLC was an extraordinary opportunity that broadened horizons for me."