Today, students from the Upper School students gathered with International Delegates for a two-part forum on terrorism and the media. The student-led forum which included a panel representatives from India, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, South Africa, and the United States was designed to promote greater understanding between cultures and sought to highlight the important ways our opinions are shaped by the media while challenging the preconceived notions and stereotypes we have.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to help understand each other better – Muslims and non-Muslims around the world.  This can help overcome ISIS.” – Baylan A., Lebanon

Collegiate Senior Ambassador Julia M. shared how she feels as though this is the most valuable part of her education – learning not just for tests, but for life and to connect with others.  Director of Responsible Citizenship, Clare Sisisky, reflects,”The forum provided not just an opertinity for students to engage with each other but, by being student lead, it helped break down the fear associated with starting a conversations like this while promoting continued dialog on these important issues.”

“When we talk about social cohesion and global understanding, we should not only talk to the upper classes – the educated elite – we have to reach out and connect with everyone, the majority.” – Phenyo, South Africa

The discussions emphasized the importance of realizing where your information comes from and working to break down that filter bubble which surrounds each us. They highlighted the fact that you have control over what information you chose to consume, and how much more you can learn by simply reaching out to people and having conversations with them.

“The media gives the masses what they want; we are the masses, so we have to make the change and not only blame the media.” – Younes R., Morocco

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Senior Ambassador and Community Forum co-facilitator Gillian L. thought the forum was a great success. She was impressed with how thoughtful the participants were and thought the the participants accomplished more than she could ever imagine in the time allotted.

“This forum provided the Collegiate community with the opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn about issues not through the media but rather through human stories.” – Caroline E., USA