On Sunday, 1 November, we hosted our first webinar: "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Singapore International Schools." Our mission is to be a platform for students and educators to share their work and discuss marginalised issues in the international community, and we hope our webinars will reflect that.
We were privileged to be joined by two alumni groups, Out For Solidarity (OFS) and #DoBetterDover from the Overseas Family School Singapore and the UWCSEA Dover Campus respectively. The webinar took several weeks of planning and discussion but it all came together in the end.
After a brief introduction to the Organisation to Decolonise International Schools (ODIS), we handed it over to the alumni groups. Both gave us a detailing of the challenges they face but also the progress they have made in advocating for change.
It is so important to highlight positives but also be critical of challenges and how they can be overcome on both the side of the administration but also within the alumni group.
The advice on how to approach your school as a student or alum was extremely insightful and would be beneficial to any student wanting to start a similar initiative.
Creating connections and inspiring others with your work was something that happened between these two alumni groups. OFS actually took action based on the #DoBetterDover initiative. Creating a framework that is transparent and sharing the work that is being done, where possible without releasing confidential information, not only gives people hope but also sparks them to take action.
By the one hour mark we were only just getting into our breakout rooms, where we had a number of guiding questions to be discussed. The purpose of the breakout rooms was not just to answer set questions but to form those connections that will help us to continue the conversation in other spheres.
One of our questions was: "Who are your activist inspirations?" Our answer to this is without a doubt Kevin Simpson of AIELOC and Yvette Cuenco. Without both of these people, ODIS would not be where it is today. In fact, our webinar style including breakout rooms and free discussion at the end was modeled off the AIELOC events we attended throughout the summer. We look forward to seeing the progress of OFS and #DoBetterDover, and amplifying the voices of other initiatives in the future.
You will find a recording of the webinar on our youtube channel:
Website: https://linktr.ee/dobetterdover (with link to their report)