In 2016, Deerfield’s Vision—as described in our Strategic Plan for Inclusion—stated in part: “Diverse perspectives fuel creative and innovative thinking and build empathy and consideration.” Next year, as a way of encouraging schoolwide discussion and ensuring “diverse perspectives” on issues of contemporary urgency, we will fully institutionalize the “Deerfield Forum,” which was first proposed to provide regular, sustained, and, in some instances, required opportunities for listening and conversation among the student body. The Forum will model scholarly and civic engagement; and, by staging conversations among scholars, professionals, and civic leaders, promote constructive dialogue and active open-mindedness—long a defining feature of Deerfield’s intellectual culture. In support of the Deerfield Forum, we will appoint an external advisory board that will include distinguished alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, and students drawn from all facets of the Deerfield community. (Excerpt from Dr. John P.N. Austin’s “2020 – 2021 Action Plan to Strengthen Equity, Inclusion, and Campus Culture.”)
We will launch our first Forum during the 2021-22 school year. To aid us in the development of The Forum, please use this form to share your thoughts to the following question: What is an important idea or concept (for example, a question about government, economics, international relations, fairness, etc.) that you feel is critical to discuss from multiple perspectives?