This past Friday, Oct. 9, Poly participated in Global Education Benchmark Group
’s (GEBG) Global Educators Virtual Conference. Newly-elected GEBG board member and Global Initiatives Program (GIP) co-coordinator Ann Diederich was tasked with introducing keynote speaker Viet Thanh Nguyen at the conference. Since Poly students had previously introduced Viet and moderated a Q&A for his talk on “The Sympathizer,” Ann proposed that a Poly student introduce the keynote speaker for the conference.
Global Scholar Ryan L. ‘21 had heard Viet speak when he was in the 8th grade, loved reading “The Sympathizer” in 10th grade, traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia with Poly in the 11th grade, and joined the Global Scholars program his senior year, so he seemed to be a natural fit to introduce Viet. Ryan L.’s introduction was met with praise and he shared how Viet’s writing has helped him understand multiple perspectives. For Ryan L.’s reflections and full speech, please visit his GIP blog
. Ann also had the unique opportunity to moderate a powerful Q&A with the author on identity, inclusion, and social justice.
Head of School John Bracker and Ann also presented a talk called “Designing for Global Impact and Community Connections: the Poly Global Scholars’ Grant Proposal Project.” The Grant Proposal Project
addresses many global challenges: including race and identity, refugees and displaced peoples, economic disparity and poverty, war and conflict, and environmental degradation and climate change.
As part of the project, Global Scholars have the option to gain hands-on experience with writing and presenting a grant proposal to fund an initiative or program that aims to address one of these global challenges. At the end of the semester, students submit a written proposal reviewed by a panel of experts and present on their project in order to determine which projects will receive funding. Those whose grants are funded can make a significant impact on their communities and further engage the younger students at Poly in purposeful philanthropy.
“Being part of the GEBG's annual conference is an opportunity to share about Poly's unique programming in global education that leverages the incredible resources that we have in our parent and alumni communities, partner schools and organizations, faculty and staff and students,” said Ann. “This particular conference gave the Poly attendees (Marcela VonBreymann, Heather Sweet, Rick Caragher, and John Bracker) the chance to highlight the link/intersectionality between DEI and global programs, and our imperative to integrate empathy, perspective-taking, critical thinking, and purpose into our K-12 programming at this critical time. All in all, I am invigorated and inspired to delve in and find best practices for developing intercultural competency/intelligence in our Poly community.”