Pittsford Central School District hosted the ninth ROC2Change Student Summit on Race on
Nov. 22, bringing together hundreds of students from schools across Monroe County
to engage in a facilitated dialogue with their peers related to race, racism, the implications of internalized racism, non-racist and anti-racist behavior.
Held at the Monroe 2 Orleans Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Spencerport, Pittsford Mendon and Sutherland high schools student-led committee planned the event and chose the theme “The Power of One.”
To facilitate dialogue around race relations and “The Power of One,” Pittsford’s student-led committee developed and ran the summit’s program of events, including interactive group breakout sessions.
Following the breakout sessions, students developed ideas to take back to their respective schools to inspire change.
The keynote speakers of the summit were Serve2Unite co-founders, Pardeep Singh Kaleka and Arno Michaelis. Kaleka lost his father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting Aug. 5, 2012. Michaelis, a former white supremacist, helped to start a gang back in the 1980s that produced the shooter of that temple. Michaelis, who had given up his white supremacist lifestyle and felt driven to combat the violence he used to commit, formed an unlikely friendship with Kaleka. Together they formed Serve2Unite to foster caring and nonviolent climates in schools and communities.