Global Education and Citizenship’s Leadership Conf

High School Students Attend the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship’s High School Leadership Conference
Posted on 11/27/2023
High School Students Attend the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship’s High School Leadership Conference

Juniors and Seniors from West Essex High School’s Culture and Climate Committee attended a field trip at Kean University on November 17 for the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship’s High School Leadership Conference. The students were chaperoned by the District’s Culture and Climate Coordinators, Mrs. Lisa Hulse and Dr. Kimberly Westervelt. 

Supporting the Holocaust Resource Center in achieving its goal of global education and engagement is the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship of Kean University.

Founded in 1990, the Council collaborates with Kean’s College of Education and provides more than 130 member school districts and community organizations with opportunities that empower educators to create safe, inclusive learning environments for all students by providing Common Core-aligned professional development.

The Diversity Council fosters the continued growth of active and compassionate individuals in order to reduce intolerance, harassment/intimidation, and promote social justice in a democratic society.

The Diversity Council hosts annual elementary, middle, and high school conferences, as well as general assembly meetings. These explore diversity-related themes including bullying, Holocaust and genocide education, civil rights, and confronting human rights abuses.

Keynote speaker Jamar Root, a 23 year old Temple University graduate who helps students find their passion, opened the conference with an inspiring message on “Defining Yourself.” He challenged the students to think about their passions and motivations. The students were then given an opportunity to collaborate with students from other school districts around the state to develop action plans to impact change at their schools. They discussed concerns and issues students experience at their schools and what they want to accomplish. They also had to consider the steps needed to address the change and what supports they would need to enlist in achieving their goal. The students also received the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship High School Leadership Toolkit which provides resources for creating safe communities and streamlining organizational communication.

The conference concluded with the presentation of the Joy Prescott Humanitarian Award for Student Leadership and Dedication. The award was established by the Holocaust Resource  Center and Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship to honor Joy Prescott, a beloved Kean University employee, upon her retirement. Ms. Prescott dedicated more than 30 years of service to students and educators through her passion for diversity training, community building, and Holocaust education. West Essex High School senior Eliana Rosen received the award for her fierce commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and the pursuit of social justice. Most notably, Eliana co-founded a program called “Beyond Reposting” that provides space for teens to have meaningful dialogue about social and political issues going deeper than what is typical of social media. Eliana is also an active member of the Teen Israel Leadership Council West Essex High School’s Women’s Empowerment Club, and the editor-in-chief of the Wessex Wire, West Essex High School’s esteemed newspaper. As editor-in-chief, Eliana has made it her goal to ensure everyone is represented, all genders, ethnicities, races, and grade levels to ensure the newspaper resembles the entire student body.