Simrin Ramchandani ’21 shares her reflection on attending the inaugural Regional Student Diversity Summit, a virtual conference for Southern California independent school students (Grades 9–12) on February 27 and 28, 2021.
My experience with the Regional Student Diversity Summit (RSDS) was one of great significance. In just two days, I learned so much about myself, my community and the world around me. Watching everything we had worked so hard to plan come together was just incredible.
My favorite part of the RSDS experience was definitely the workshops. I attended the “Asian Americans: Identity, Model Minority Myth, and Representation” workshop led by Dr. Drew Ishii, as well as the “How Anti-Asian Sentiment in the Past Reforms Injustice in the Present” workshop led by Ricco Siasoco. In these workshops, we discussed the model minority myth of Asians, the history of Asian Americans in this country, as well as the anti-Asian sentiment that many people are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Being an Asian American myself, I was extremely eager to be a part of these conversations. While listening to these speakers, I was shocked at how little I knew about Asian American history. I realized that U.S. schools don’t cover Asian American history in the classroom, which was very disappointing to hear. In addition to that, there haven’t been any conversations around the Anti-Asian hate crimes currently happening in this country. Both these realizations affected me deeply and ignited a spark in me. RSDS has inspired me to bring these issues to the table and start conversations in my community. I hope to bring attention to these matters in my school and continue to do so after graduation. This conference had a profound impact on my identity and my perception of the world, and I am so grateful I got the chance to be a part of this experience.