Identity Day 2020
On March 5, the Landmark Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) and the International Group celebrated Landmark's fourth annual Identity Day, a daylong celebration during which students dressed in clothing that represents their identity. Other events included a student panel in the Performing Arts Center, a photobooth, and delectable tres leches (three milk) cake provided by Sage Dining Services.
The student panel opened with a quote from Catherine Burns, artistic director of the Moth Radio Hour, that reflected the intention of Identity Day. "Sometimes it is easier to make sense of the world one story at a time. And when we dare to listen, we remember there is no 'other,' there is only us, and what we have in common will always be greater than what separates us."
Members of the student panel answered questions about race, gender, and sexuality. The students said they welcome questions from others about their ethnicity or sexual orientation as long as they are asked respectfully.
"It's important that people feel comfortable asking questions, but sometimes they use a tone that can be seen as harsh or threatening," said Alice Schwechheimer '20. Ethan Kerr '21, who is Mexican, said he also encourages peers to ask him questions about his heritage as long as they are mindful of the questions they pose. For example, he said he gets frustrated when people ask him, "Are you legal" or "What's your immigration status?"
"This event was a great way to celebrate and build awareness of the varied identities and experiences within our community," said Jennifer Moy, an academic advisor and organizer of Identity Day. "The student panel did a fantastic job articulating those experiences, both shared and unique. The hope was to create more dialogue around identity and inclusion and to expand all of our individual perspectives by initiating the conversation and being authentic with one another."