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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Dies Mulieres and Men in the Arena create spaces for reflection on diversity and inclusion

Graphic Courtesy: Webb Art Club
In honor of Dies Mulieres and Men in the Arena, members of Art Club have created art pieces that speak to the theme of “Education as a Catalyst for Change” in the context of gender, diversity, and inclusivity.

The biennial symposium, Dies Mulieres and Men in the Arena, appeared again this school year, but with a new pressing theme. The theme of this year’s symposium was “Education as a Catalyst for Change” with hopes of the Webb Schools becoming more inclusive of people with all kinds of self-identityThrough Dies Mulieres and Men in the Arena events, Webb takes significant strides towards making its students feel appreciatedThe highly anticipated event kicked off with an unprecedented activity that joined both VWS and WSC advisories. 

Sunday night’s activity asked students to reflect on the question “Who am I?” with relation to their identity and their name. Then, each advisory pair created a Jamboard, a Google idea board, onto which they added words and pictures that represented their identity.  

“I think Sunday nights activities were very candid,” Viraj Nigam (‘23) said. I got a chance to understand other people’s honest perspectives about what comprised their identities and what kind of environment they would need to cater to that.” 

Wednesday’s activities began with 45-minute alumni panel, featuring Akua McLeod (‘16), Dakota Santana-Grace (‘11), Daniel Hernandez (‘13), and Diana Escalante (‘12). All of the alumni had graduated in the last 10 years. They answered questions about faculty members who had supported them, how they felt about the Webb curriculum regarding gender and race inclusion, social movements that occurred in their time at Webb, and more 

“I could relate to Diana Escalante’s story the most,” Valeria Gonzalez (‘23) said. “She mentioned that she was very close with the Valeras. For me Mr. Valera was one of the few faculty members that I could truly relate to and connect with culturally. He overall made my transition into Webb a lot easier.” 

After the alumni panel, students returned to their individual advisories for 20 minutes to discuss the panel and offer their own answers to the questions that had been asked. Many students expressed that they found affinity with a certain alumnus on the panel, often due to similar identities or experiences. After 20 minutes, students had similar discussions, this time with their opposite-school advisory pair. 

“I felt that it was interesting to see the changes over the years since the alumni have left campus,” Logan Causley (‘22) saidThey had a lot of comments about the curriculum’s diversity, which has changed and grown since their time at Webb.” 

To close out the symposium, students heard from key-note speaker, Schuyler Bailer, a transgender male and athlete who swam for the Harvard men’s team. Bailer spoke about his experiences with mental health and gender identity, telling the story of his choice to swim for the men’s team rather than the women’s. Bailer later took questions directly from Webb students during his talk.  

think this was the sort of speech Webb needed,” Stratton Rebish (‘24) said. “I feel like he took my heart deeper into understanding the issues transgender people face. Amplifying the voices of minority groups of any kind results in collective understanding and tolerance which is what the world needs.” 

This event has been in the works since summer of 2020. It was planned by a committee including Shannon Uppal (’21), Catherine Li (’22), Brandon Martin (’21), Xander Kong (’22), Aliza Tyndale (’21), Isa Flores (’21), Hunter Lange (’22), Nick Lee (’22), Dr. Windmon, Mr. Choi, Abbie Arroyo (‘21) and Jake Sharifi (‘21). Abbie and Jake are Student Government Executives for VWS and WSC, respectively, so they played a large role in the planning of the event. 

“The Empowering Student Voices Initiative really handled the educative aspect since we have been to many different diversity conferences, workshops, seminars, etc., and Student Government helped with student engagement and thinking about how all these large-scale topics can apply at Webb, Abbie said 

The planning committees decided to change the fundamentals of what Dies Mulieres and Men in the Arena used to focus on. Instead of having gender separate conversations, this year Webb decided to combine the two events into one for a co-ed discussion. Rather than just focusing on gender roles in society, the committee decided to shift the focus to everything that makes up one’s identity.  

Members of ESVI noted Schuyler Bailar was their first choice, and when we discovered he was available, we booked him, and the rest of the symposium came together from there,” said Sarah Lantz, Dean of VWS. “The focus of identity and inclusion became the highlight.” 

“Men in the Arena and Dies Mulieres our Sophomore year [in 2019] were more separated than this year in terms of VWS and WSC being in different places,” Jake said. This year as the conversation was more intersectional, it was a lot more inclusive and diverse.” 

The committee also decided to shift their focus due to the prominence of movements happening in the world today. Specifically, Abbie wanted to remind the community that not all people go through the same experiences. She wanted the symposium to ba place that could amplify the different voices of young people who are struggling tbe heard. The educative stance of the symposium is meant to help destruct hateful mentalities and help to create progressive mindsets. 

“What inspired us to shift the focus of Dies Mulieres/Men in the Arena from just talking about being men and women to a more intersectional conversation was seeing all the injustice and social movements arise,” Abbie said. “Education plays such a huge role in creating cultural change by teaching kids to lead with empathy and awaken them to realties of our history. Systemic change will only happen when we change the culture first by normalizing educating students on how to be anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and more. 

Many enjoyed the focus on self-identity and intersectionality. Students believed it helped open many people’s eyes on what needs to improve in our own community. 

“I think that the event got a good conversation going on how the Webb community needs to improve from the current status quo, in which many struggles to fit in,” Viraj said. “It challenged the rules and ideas the school has lived by for decades and made us critically think if we need to be living by the same traditions which may be archaic in a vastly different generation. 

The event opened conversations regarding Webb‘s diverse community and curriculum as well as old traditions and beliefs that we may need to stray away in order to create a more inclusive community 

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About the Contributors
Eva Annabi, Co-Editor of Sports & Social Media Manager
Just like a spirited raccoon, Eva Annabi (‘23)’s lively enthusiasm and humor make it natural for her to be an amazing Social Media Manager for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. Eva lives by the quote “ride the wave”, like when she is spending time together with friends or binging shows like Love Island instead of doing her homework. Her various leadership roles as a head day student prefect and president of the Middle Eastern and Rotary clubs also allow her to discuss important topics to her, such as representation for minorities and women at Webb. Some of her special talents include wiggling her ears and rapping the fastest part in Rap God. As she steps into her role as the WCC Social Media Manager this year as well as the Co-Editor of Sports, Eva is thrilled to provide entertaining and informative media content in an effort to increase readership.   Favorite Song: "Ransom" by Lil Tecca
Taylor Crawford, Chief Editor of Culture & Lifestyle
Fitting for the Chief Editor of Culture & Lifestyle, Taylor Crawford (‘23)’s many interests help her create a vibrant presence in her section. As a resident of Glendora, Taylor enjoys playing soccer, shopping, and occasionally reading. She is a member of the VWS varsity soccer team as well as the soccer club Legends FC. She spent her summer in northern California with her church, spending lots of time hanging out with her family and friends cultivating meaningful relationships. Last year, Taylor wrote multiple articles, but she was most proud of iWebb, which is the Webb version of iCarly. Taylor also has leadership roles on campus, as she is a new member of the day student prefect group. Her commitment takes root in seminary, which she partakes in every day before school.  During her free time, she watches her favorite shows, Criminal Minds, Knight and Day, and listens to her favorite artist Justin Bieber. This year, Taylor hopes to leave her legacy in journalism by making more entertaining videos and articles.  Favorite Song: “Valerie” by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse 
Laura Haushalter, Public Editor
Enthusiastic, positive, determined, and athletic, Laura Haushalter (‘21) uses her passionate attitude to take on many leadership roles: captain of the VWS cross-country and swimming teams; Student Government spirit commissioner; and the Public Editor for the WCC. As the Public Editor, Laura oversees all the social media accounts for the WCC. In addition to normal Editor-in-Chief  responsibilities, she helps the WCC gain more publicity, making sure Webbies stay informed and updated about the latest articles. Laura is extremely passionate about environmental justice and climate change, which is why her favorite class she has taken at Webb is Honors Global Society and Sustainability. In her free time, you can catch Laura watching Friends or Veep, listening to AJR, Beach House, and Cardi B, or running on Thompson Creek Trail. Her goals this year are to make the WCC’s social media accounts more active, and make the most of her last year at Webb.
Narineh Madikians, Public Editor
Narineh Madikians (23) is coming back to Webb for her senior year as a completely new person. Along with her new position as the Webb Canyon Chronicle's new Public Editor, Narineh is also a head peer advisor and a member of the VWS varsity volleyball team. Even though her senior year is full of change, Narineh still loves humanities courses from past years such as Advanced Studies Creative Nonfiction. She encourages everyone at Webb to take this class as it has made a significant impact on her writing techniques. This year, she is focusing on the future while also trying to stay present at the moment, hoping to make as many lasting memories as she can before she leaves for college. After a long and busy week at school, Narineh uses her weekends to recharge. She loves to go out with her friends or stay at home and watch movies with her parents and three dogs: Jeckie, Dash, and Rex. At the end of the day, Narineh unwinds by listening to her favorite artists such as Mac Miller, Frank Ocean, and Childish Gambino. Narineh will use her new and old experiences throughout Webb, the WCC, and outside life, to make her senior year unforgettable.   Favorite Song: "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and The Shondells
Keigan McCullagh, Editor of News
After using her summer to create a small business selling custom embroidery, Keigan McCullagh (‘21) is coming back to school as a senior. Keigan has been with the Webb Canyon Chronicle for two years, improving and learning throughout her time. She fondly remembers getting her first article publisheand reflects on her growth as a writer, and she is now the Editor of News for the WCC this year. She is also the Co-President of Webb’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Club and Vice President of our USITT chapter. Her astrological sign is Libra. She loves to learn about history. You can always find her playing the guitar or listening to music, her favorite bands being Fleetwood Mac and the Lumineers. Besides music, she loves her dog Lily. Also, Keigan’s favorite food is chicken nuggets. Keigan’s goal for the WCC this year is to report more breaking news in hope of shedding light on important subjects the Webb community should know about.  She would also like to encourage everyone to go vote for the 2020 election! 

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