The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Belmont’s new RISE series encourages a more inclusive community

Tara Krishnan
Tanya Beat spoke at the first RISE meeting on privilege and intersectionality. “We’ve had some really good discussions that have allowed me to realize that people who live in the same area or go to the same school as me could still have completely different perspectives and experiences from what I have,” Tara Krishnan said.

Taking steps for a more inclusive community, the Belmont Youth for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has implemented the Resistance, Inclusivity, Support, and Empowerment (RISE) speaker series.

The RISE program entails a monthly speaker coming to lead a discussion about various topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Tara Krishnan, a junior at Carlmont High School, serves as the vice president of outreach for the Belmont Youth for DEI.

“The goal of these events is to get community feedback on what people would like to see around school or the city in general, to feel more accepted and included,” Krishnan said.

The RISE series had its first meeting with guest speaker Tanya Beat on Nov. 30, 2023, at the Belmont Library. Beat is the Director of the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women and LGBTQ. 

My presentation introduced concepts of intersectional identity and privilege but also provided space for the group to discuss instances where they experienced or did not experience inclusion,” Beat said. 

The RISE program encourages the youth of the Belmont community to join them in making changes and having meaningful conversations.

“The room was full when I presented, and it was mainly teens except for two older adults. I had a great time and hope it left an impression on the group,” Beat said.

Brigitte Shearer, the DEI Officer for the City of Belmont, helped the RISE program come to life. 

“Tanya creates a comfortable space to talk about some of these difficult topics, and I thought it was a great first event by the RISE group that encouraged people to come together and listen to each other,” Shearer said.

The RISE program has allowed attendees to talk about things that would otherwise remain unspoken.

“Some of the things we talk about are touchy discussion topics and can be a little painful and awkward. But we’re never going to move forward if we don’t talk about it, share our experiences, and listen to each other,” Shearer said.

The RISE program also discusses ways to improve the Belmont community, utilizing the input they receive from Belmont youth who attend these meetings. 

“We get to bring a lot of different perspectives into a room and have people listen and hear each other and come up with ideas for the changes we can make for the better the Belmont community,” Shearer said.

Their goal is to embody DEI’s ideals through the collaboration fostered in the RISE program.

“I think it’s really important that we start having conversations about the ways our community can be more accepting and inclusive in order to make it a safe space for everyone,” Krishnan said.

The RISE group is currently looking for another speaker to spearhead their next meeting and help them as they make strides toward a better and more inclusive community. 

“The students that have come up with this idea for RISE are an incredible group of young people who give me great hope for the future of our community and our country,” Shearer said.

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About the Contributor
Hailee Byun
Hailee Byun, Staff Writer
Hailee Byun is a junior at Carlmont and this is her second year as a staff writer for the Scot Scoop. She likes to keep up to date with current news around the world. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, reading, baking, and going to the beach, and has an interest in climate advocacy. Instagram: @haileebyun Twitter: @_haileebyun

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