MTS Voices


Every Story Matters.

MTS Voices is a newsletter celebrating the diversity of experiences that make up our community. Twice a year a parent, alum, student, or staff member will share a meaningful personal story that influenced who they are. Voices highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our curriculum, and inspires readers to reflect and connect through ideas and conversations.

Featured: Conversations with Quincy

In this new series, our Director of Equity and Inclusion sits down with community members to explore why diversity, equity, and inclusion is important to Mount Tamalpais School.

Check out our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Page for more information and resources on DEI at MTS!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MTS

A Conversation About Cultural Competency

A Conversation with Quincy About Cultural Competency

In this sixth installment of Conversations with Quincy, Dr. Darwin Mason speaks with Quincy about Cultural Competency. Coming from a family of educators and with a life-long focus on education, Dr. Mason was here on campus to speak with the Professional Community about Cultural Competency as part of our continued work to provide an enviroment that allows all students to feel like they belong. As a visionary leader, Dr. Mason is known for creating a climate that emboldens productive struggle for educators and students. He has been recognized for his ability to create a positive school culture that encourages educators, students, and parents to fail, learn, and grow together. He is currently the Head of Middle School at Ensworth, an independent K-12 school in Nashville, Tennessee. Watch the Video of the Conversation Here.

A Conversation About Drug Prevention

Conversations with Quincy Featuring Brenda Conlan

In this fifth installment of Conversations with Quincy, Brenda Conlan, an Alcohol and Other Drugs Educator, discusses the importance of educating our young teenagers on the dangers of alcohol and other drug use, particularly at this time in their life. She highlights how as young people are working to figure out life – to understand relationships and friendships – any kind of substance abuse can interfere with that process. She offers parents advice on how to talk to their teenage children and emphasizes the importance of focusing on health and safety first during this period of time when kids are especially vulnerable to addiction. Watch the Video of the Conversation Here.

A Conversation with the MTS Professional Community About Social-Emotional Learning

A Conversation About SEL with MTS Leaders

We are excited to share the fourth installment of Conversations with Quincy. In this episode, MTS professional community members Melodie Del Rio, School Counselor, Meagan Andrews, Head of Lower School, and Nick Wilsey, Head of Middle School, discuss the importance of social-emotional learning at school. Watch the Video of the Conversation Here.

A Conversation with MTS Parent, Ama Lieb

Conversations with Quincy Featuring Parent Ama Lieb

We are excited to share the third installment of Conversations with Quincy. In this episode, MTS parent, Ama Lieb, talks to Quincy about her journey from Ghana, Canada, the Caribbean, and multiple locations in the United States. Ama, a writer, artist, and musician, reflects on the benefits and challenges of continually living in different cultures, and how that has influenced her sense of identity. Watch the Video of the Conversation Here.

A Conversation with Eighth Graders

Conversations with Quincy and 8th Graders

We are very excited to share the second installment of Conversations with Quincy, Episode 2. In this episode, our MTS Director of Equity and Inclusion, Quincy Davis, sits down with eighth graders Ashley, Lilly Kate, Lucky, and Stella, to discuss why diversity, equity, and inclusion are important, personal experiences they've had, and what they've learned about DEI at MTS. Watch the video of the conversation here

A Conversation with Andrew Davis

Conversations with Quincy Featuring Andrew Davis

In this inaugural Conversations with Quincythe MTS Director of Equity and Inclusion Quincy Davis spoke with Head of School Andrew Davis, to learn more about this year's school theme of "Welcome," the importance of vulnerability, and the ongoing journey as we embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Watch the video of the conversation here or read a full transcript of the conversation here 

Student Spotlight

E'ula Green - How to Go Beyond Diversity and Inclusion

Provoking Thought

E'ula Green - How to Go Beyond Diversity and Inclusion and to Community and Belonging

About this TedTalk Video: E’ula Green, social worker and teacher, immigrated from Sierra Leone to Oklahoma when she was in grade school where she had a vastly different experience than what she was accustomed to in West Africa. Her experience there, and later on in college and beyond, taught her the value of learning and knowing people’s names and the difference between diversity and belonging.

Questions to think about: 

1) Why might the images we surround ourselves with make an impact on a community? 

2) What’s the difference between diversity/inclusion and community/belonging? Why does it matter?

3) Why is it important to know people’s names and know how to pronounce them? What impact can this have on a community?

4) Aside from learning someone’s name, what are other ways to help make a person feel like they belong? How else can we be agents of change?

Chandra Arthur - The Cost of Codeswitching

Provoking Thought

Chandra Arthur - The Cost of Codeswitching

About this TedTalk Video: Entrepreneur and CEO of the tech company Friendish, Chandra Arthur, reflects on her personal experiences with codeswitching – learning how to adapt her clothing, musical tastes, and way of speaking – to fit into a new school as a child and later on in the professional world as an entrepreneur. 

“I learned how to act like my new classmates and eventual friends...I learned how to align myself not just so that I fit in, but so that I was culturally compatible."

Questions to think about: 

1) Have you ever personally found yourself codeswitching? If so, what were the circumstances? Why did it feel necessary?

2) Is there anything you identify with that you feel like you need to hide?

3) Why would the ability to codeswitch potentially mean the difference between life and death in this country?

4) How does codeswitching affect a person's sense of self? Does the expectation that to be taken seriously, one must speak and dress a certain way, threaten the benefits of diversity in this country? If so, why?

The Danger of the Single Story

Provoking Thought

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - The Danger of a Single Story

About this TEDTalk video: Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Questions to think about: 

1) What does Chimamanda Adichie mean when she talks about a "single story?" 

2) What are the consequences of believing only a single story about a person or a group of people? 

3) How does power and the “principal of nkali” affect the stories we hear, and why is it important? 

4) What is the danger of stereotypes and how can stories change them? 



Brené Brown - The Power of Vulnerability

Provoking Thought

Brené Brown - The Power of Vulnerability

About this TEDTalk Video: Dr. Brené Brown, an author, researcher, professor, lecturer, podcast host, and speaker, movingly describes the conclusions she drew from years of research on belonging and connection. What separates the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and those who struggle for it? After interviewing hundreds of people and analyzing their stories, she discovered that only by living with vulnerability are people able to truly and authentically connect with one another. 

"You are imperfect, and you are wired for struggle. But you are also worthy of love and belonging."

Questions to think about: 

1) Brené Brown states that there is only one variable that separates the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. What is it? 

2) Why is authenticity important for connection? 

3) What does she mean when she says we cannot selectively numb our emotions? 

4) What makes you feel vulnerable? 

Luvvie Ajayi Jones - Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Provoking Thought

Luvvie Ajayi Jones - Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

About this TEDTalk video: Luvvie Ajayi Jones isn't afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. "Your silence serves no one," says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi Jones shares three questions to ask yourself if you're teetering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down -- and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

“It is our job, it is our obligation, it is our duty to speak truth to power, to be the power, not just when it’s difficult, but especially when it’s difficult.” 

Questions to think about: 

1) What does Luvvie Ajayi Jones mean when she talks about being a domino? 

2) Why does she say that comfort is overrated? 

3) When it’s time to say hard things, what 3 questions does Luvvie Jones ask herself to answer to determine if it’s time to speak up? 

4) Has there ever been a time when you had to speak up? If not, can you imagine a situation where you might need to speak up? What might happen? How would you feel? 

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Mount Tamalpais School and find additional resources on our DEI page!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mount Tamalpais School