by J1 reporters Brianna Dovali & Anne Masek
Opportunities to be educated on the topics of race, discrimination, and open-mindedness are more available now than ever. One resource that is currently offered for education about these topics is the program IncluCity.
IncluCity is a camp where students are encouraged to have conversations regarding race, gender, and microaggressions. The name IncluCity fits into their mission of creating diversity and inclusivity in communities. This program is wired to have an inclusive environment where people can comfortably share their experiences, feelings, or ideas towards race, gender, and identity.
IncluCity usually consists of an overnight camp, but due to COVID, the format has changed to monthly zoom meetings.
Junior Izzy Soto is one of the many students involved in this program. As the communications director for Marian’s Diversity Board, Soto keeps a stream of communication going on throughout the board while maintaining teamwork. Soto has attended many IncluCity events, and she is now a leader for the camps. “This program has taught me a lot about how to talk about these sensitive topics, especially at Marian,” Soto said. When students sign up for this camp, they get the opportunity to hear speakers talk about these difficult topics in a safe environment. In small group time, participants can reflect on how they feel towards the topics at hand with a tight-knit group of people
Program Partner for Inclusive Communities Colin McGrew acts as a middleman for this program. McGrew’s job consists of connecting the camp to schools and encouraging others to talk about IncluCity. The most rewarding part of being in this program to McGrew is “the sense of amazement, humility, and pure awe that I feel every time I watch an IncluCity experience unfold in front of me.”
After joining the team at Inclusive Communities in 2019, McGrew soon became the head of this program. “What makes ‘camp’ so magical is seeing energy, passion, and community collide. This program situates itself at the heart of our organization and thus, it represents the best of IC in so many ways,” McGrew said as he reflected on his involvement in the program.
This program is one of the many steps Marian has taken to grow as a united community. The goal for IncluCity is to celebrate the differences in identity that contribute to the diversity all around us. This program has and will continue to help students across the state embrace the uniqueness of their communities.
As IncluCity has gained more popularity, it is encouraged for students here at Marian to participate. “I 100 percent recommend it,” Soto said.
Since everything has been online, “we are hoping that our IncluCity camps will return to in-person late 2021 or early 2022 depending on what the current CDC guidelines are and the comfortability of all parties involved. As for our IncluCity gatherings that have been happening virtually, our last one of this spring semester will be April 23 and 24,” McGrew said.
To get involved, you can check out their website and social media and participate in their camps. You can find more information on their social media platforms below. Feel free to reach out to anyone on the Diversity Board or Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ms. Devin Owens if you have any questions.