Cambridge Student Leaders Attend Annual MSAN Conference in Phoenix, AZ

msan_content.jpgEight students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School attended the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) Student Conference hosted by Paradise Valley School District in Phoenix, AZ with Vera Outeiro and Ed Byrne. The conference afforded our students the opportunity to connect and learn from each other as well as students in MSAN districts across the country. Students spent a day touring Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University, and heard from college students there about their experiences transitioning into college. The colleges also provided sessions on financial aid and the admissions process so students had a better understanding of the college admissions process.

One of the highlights was hearing from Calvin Terrell, who delivered a dynamic interactive presentation imploring our students to move from being cowards to becoming warriors in their own lives, the lives of their peers, and wherever they encounter injustice. The presentation afforded our student leaders time to reflect on how they lead, what they stand for, and what their responsibilities are as leaders in an unjust world. Our Cambridge students hope to bring Mr. Terrell to CRLS to deliver his message to more of our students. Students spent time in mixed-districts study groups examining two scholarly articles and making connections to the challenges and aspirations in their own districts. They discussed how race as a biological concept is false, yet race and racism persist as social phenomena in real, meaningful, and damaging ways. They looked at the tenets of Critical Race Theory and explored how CRT as a critique and paradigm could be useful in their home districts.


Each district spent time as a cohort thinking, debating, and eventually creating an action plan to improve racial disparities in achievement in their own district. Cambridge came up with an ambitious plan that includes 11th and 12th graders mentoring younger students potentially through the CRLS Community Meeting time. Each district then created a poster showcasing their action plan and we toured all the district plans in a "gallery walk" session. Our students made meaningful connections with other students engaged in similar work around the country and returned to Cambridge enthusiastic about what they learned, grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference, and eager to get going on their plans.

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