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Staying Connected and Learning Together While Being Apart

Dudley and Kiniya friends have been finding new and creative ways to keep in touch with each other during this strange summer apart. We were inspired recently to learn of a Book Club that Eliza Davis #20108 has formed with a few of her Kiniya pals. She wrote: 

My first summer at Kiniya was in 2006, and I have spent 11 summers at camp since then. Most of my extended family have spent summers at Dudley and at Kiniya. My Dad, Rusty Davis #9408 spent 17 summers at Dudley and my Mom, Linda Saarnijoki #19408 served on the Girls’ Committee leading to Dudley’s acquisition of Kiniya, so “The Other Fellow First” has been central to my values since I can remember. I graduated from Princeton in 2017 and subsequently spent two years teaching 7th grade Social Studies in Pueblo, Colorado through Teach For America. 

This summer, some camp folks and I have been learning about racial inequity in our country together through books, articles, and podcasts. We’re calling it a book club, but our conversations (as most conversations with camp people tend to do) extend beyond the pages we read each week. I know that reading and talking to my friends about what I learn is only one step in a long journey towards equity and justice, but it is motivating and inspiring to have thought-partners as I learn. 

Though I have been passionate about social justice for years and have spent time unpacking the privilege that I have as a straight, white woman, in the last few weeks it has become increasingly clear to me how much learning I still have to do. To be antiracist requires a constant mindset of growth from all of us. It requires a willingness to dismantle ideas that have lived in our own heads for most of our lives and reconstruct them carefully in new ways. One of the things I have always found special about camp is its ability to help me grow, so when I started thinking about ways that I can commit to learning, I turned to my Kiniya friends

I think we as a Dudley/Kiniya community have an incredible opportunity to connect and learn alongside one another, and I encourage you all to take advantage of that in your own way. I am so grateful to my inaugural book club pals, and can’t wait for our group to grow as we dive into our next title.”

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