Laura Diamond '13 was a participant in SLP last summer and will be an emerging leader this summer. She also serves as a board member of The City School. She is one of many grads of all ages that will become inaugural members of Friends of The City School on May 8.
What is your favorite memory of The City School?
There are so many memories that I could talk about, but one of the best was during our Community Action Project last summer. We had spent a few weeks preparing a conference for Boston area teachers about Standardized Testing, the School to Prison Pipeline, and other issues we felt teachers should understand from students' perspective. So it felt awesome to see 80 teachers participate in our workshops and learn from us for a full Saturday in August.
How have you changed because of your first summer of SLP?
The summer of 2013 was my first time at SLP, but The City School has already made a huge impact on my life. This summer I joined a community that helped me see how my own experiences fit into a bigger picture. I have stayed connected to The City School throughout the school year by joining the board and seeing a different side of The City School's work. The CitySchool has helped me improve my self confidence and empowered me to take on leadership positions in different areas of my life.
How have you continued your commitment to social justice beyond the Summer Leadership Program?
Even though I'm unable to spend as much time at The City School as I did over the summer, I'm working on bringing conversations about privilege and social justice into the other communities that I'm a part of. I'm working with Sub/Urban Justice (one of The City School's partners) where we've been working on raising the minimum wage as well as leading workshops about race and class for youth groups in our communities. I also recently started a club at my school with a few friends to provide a space to talk about injustice in the media and how art can be used as a tool for social justice. I'm excited to keep developing this idea and to continue working with The City School in the summer!
What are your plans for the future?
Right now I'm more focused on the present and making the most of the opportunities I have in front of me. I hope to continue working with both The City School and Sub/Urban Justice throughout high school. After high school, my goal is to attend college and hopefully study Peace and Conflict Studies and International Relations. After working with youth social justice organizations, I've realized that I want to learn more about how governments and large organizations make decisions that change people's lives. I want to be a part of a movement that is calling attention to unjust systems and changing the way people use their power.
If you could have coffee with one social justice activist, who would it be and why?
I would love to have a conversation with Nelson and Winnie Mandela. I'm inspired by everything I have learned about their perseverance and their ability to continue fighting even when it seemed impossible to win. I also feel like there must be huge parts of their story that I've never learned about because of the way the media skews history. I would love the opportunity to learn more about the Mandelas' experience without the perspective of a high school history class.
Profile Created April 2014