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Academy’s Diversity Director: Dr. Beckett Broh

Situated in a little office at the back of the college counseling office, the new Director of Diversity, Dr. Beckett Broh, brims with excitement and big ideas for promoting integration and collaboration among Academy’s various sub-groups. Having spent the majority of her career teaching sociology and diversity issues at Wittenberg University, Broh’s passion for teaching the significance of social justice to young people made her jump at the chance to engage in this work experience in a high school setting.

“I’ve always loved working with younger students,” says Broh. “So when the opportunity came about to work with K-12 students as opposed to higher ed., it was just a great opportunity.”

Academy’s strong foundation and what she envisions for our school drew Broh to CA. “There’s a lot of cool stuff happening here with a lot of cool people doing it as a community,” she says. While a sound institution is essential in building a welcoming community at any organization, Broh knows the road to true equality is a long and often times a difficult one.

“There is a lot of opportunity to create this unbelievable environment in which everybody really does feel included and welcomed and valued,” says Broh. “I think that is my number-one goal: to keep our culture moving forward in the direction of making sure that everyone feels like Academy is a great place to be.”

One of the major obstacles in accomplishing true equality in the academic setting is students’ reluctance to branch out to others with whom they don’t typically identify. It may be difficult to appreciate the things that make us different at Academy as we bumble along from class to class in a self-centered haze, yet  it would be to everyone’s advantage to heed Broh’s advice: Be mindful of and even reach out to those with different ideas, values, and situations from our own.

Of course, the school setting, Broh suggests, is not the only place to be mindful of social equality. She stresses an awareness of current events may be the most useful tool in combating inequality outside of the “Academy bubble.”

“When we engage in current events, it isn’t just important for the community that we live in,” says Broh, “It also makes life more meaningful when we engage in things beyond our own, self-centered world. It just makes life a lot fuller and richer.”

Broh believes all of us, especially young people, should invest time and energy into breaking out of their comfort zones: “In order to be engaged in community work, we need to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. We need to be getting out and engaging in communities that we typically wouldn’t be comfortable in so that we can make connections with those communities and those people.”

We can all take some of Dr. Broh’s ideas and run with them. After all, no matter what group it is that we identify ourselves with, whether inside the Academy community or out in the world, it’s high time we stop letting our expectations be weighted down by uninformed judgments. Broh agrees and is confident enough in her past experiences that people live and learn best when immersed in the lives and ideas of others different from themselves: “What I’ve seen from students in the past and across the board is that they find life more meaningful. I don’t think it’s just for the good of the community, but also for that richness and fullness in our own lives.”

Written by Mackenzie Bell’13



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