St. Paul, Minn. (Sept. 30, 2015) — A diverse group of high school seniors from the Twin Cities found a safe space to discuss current events and concerns at the inaugural R.E.A.C.H. (Realizing Equity and Cultivating Hope) Summit hosted by the University of St. Thomas on Saturday, Sept. 12.
High school seniors who have demonstrated an interest in leadership and social justice were encouraged by their schools’ guidance counselors to register for the program. As part of their application, the students were asked to describe two or three social-justice issues they would like to discuss at the summit.
Based on their responses, St. Thomas faculty and staff members led breakout discussions on issues of race, economics, LGBT, gender equality, immigration and policing in communities of color. The students collaborated to create goals for their respective communities and formed action plans to promote positive change.
The R.E.A.C.H Summit’s planning committee hopes that recognizing and discussing social issues will create a learning atmosphere for high school students that encourages diverse perspectives. St. Thomas strives to create a vibrant campus community that works for a just and inclusive society.
The summit received positive reviews and the university looks forward to hosting another summit, with more students, next fall.