Middle School Students Participate in REAL Talk Program

On Monday, September 14, middle school students spent time discussing REAL Talk, a program led by Middle School Diversity Coordinator Indyasia Fowler. Read our Q&A with her below to find out why REAL Talk is important for our students.
What is REAL Talk and how did they get started at Wesleyan?
REAL Talk (or Racial Education, Awareness, and Leadership Talk) is one of the many programs that take place during flex time on the middle school schedule. In previous years, we have had multiple middle school assemblies throughout the year called "Courageous Conversations," in which we dove into topics dealing with diversity and inclusion. REAL Talk is a revamping of those same conversations with dedicated times throughout the month for follow up discussion in our faculty-led small groups called Pack Groups.
Why is it important for middle schoolers to participate in REAL Talk?
If we genuinely believe that each one of us is created in the image of God, then we must agree that for the full image of God to be realized, it takes all of us because God is so much bigger than any single racial group. Because diversity is created by God, it is something to be celebrated and acknowledged instead of ignored and avoided. We want all our students to be proud of and embrace the cultural and racial differences between us so that all students feel valued, loved, respected, and welcome.
What do you hope they learn from participating in the discussions?
Ultimately, the goal of REAL Talk is to create an environment here at Wesleyan that reflects the kingdom of God, where each and every student feels valued, loved, respected, and welcome. Part of our Wesleyan JOY motto is to love others. Loving others well involves loving the parts of them that are different as well. We want to help educate our students on how to have positive conversations about racial and cultural differences that result in each of us loving our neighbor as ourselves.