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CAMD Scholars Program and the Values of Diversity
Edit by. Sparky Yoo | Published. 2017.12.21 20:49 | Count : 418

The CAMD Scholars Program is a school-funded, independent summer research opportunity for students at Phillips Academy. Through this program, the Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) office provides students with the resources to explore topics pertaining to identity, diversity, and multiculturalism. Each CAMD Scholar writes a significant research paper over the Summer with a faculty advisor and then presents his research to the community.

A wide array of content is covered; just within this year, topics included, “Blind Justice: A Model for the Socio-Economic Development of the Millions of Blind Students in India,” “’The New White Flight’: A Paradox of Ethnoracial Achievement,” “Super Black: An Analysis of the History and Evolution of Race in Black Superheroes in Comic Books,” and “The Evolution of Community Within the Music Departments of Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy.”

CAMD Scholars Poster

This past Summer, I was privileged to have been given the opportunity to research what has been called “The New White Flight.” The “new white flight” is a potential modern phenomenon occurring in Asian and Asian American-dominated areas of California, in which there is evident racial tension between Asian Americans and Whites. This tension is evident from both statistical and anecdotal evidence. For instance, in “The New White Flight,” a 2005 Wall Street Journal article, Suein Hwang reported that the percentage of white students at Monta Vista High dropped from 45 percent to less than 33 percent in a span of ten years. Moreover, Hwang quotes parents, such as Ms. Doherty (white parent of Monta Vista student), who said “My sense is that at Monta Vista you’re competing against the child beside you. Obviously, the concentration of Asian students is really high, and it does flavor the school.”

Sparky Yoo Presenting on the New White Flight

While researching this issue, I learned that the “new white flight” was a playoff of the “White Flight,” a twentieth century phenomenon, in which Whites suburbanized away from Blacks in central cities. Using this knowledge, I applied the racial mechanisms of the “white flight” to the “new white flight” to see whether there were similar patterns in both.   

Ultimately, my research helped me explore nuanced questions of multiculturalism and diversity. It led me to examine the role of racial stereotypes in education and to reflect on the true value of diversity. I shared my research and insights with others and gathered other people’s thoughts on this matter. In my research presentation, I included a panel discussion among those members of our community who had contemplated on these very questions. Our discussion covered such topics as the under-representation of Asians and Asian Americans in leadership positions, our own experiences of racial stereotyping, and the role of racial stereotyping in students’ college admission experiences. This last topic, in particular, showed how prevalent racial stereotyping can be. For instance, the panel members discussed how it was wrong to assume that a student got into a certain college simply because of his/her race.  Ultimately, we all hoped raise the awareness on how racial stereotyping could pervade our educational experiences. In so doing, we took another step in truly appreciating the values of diversity.

Panel Discussion during my CAMD Scholars Presentation

The CAMD Scholars Program, as shown by my experience, serves a crucial function at our school. It enables individual students to disseminate important knowledge that can enhance the way our communities support students of various identities.  


Sparky Yoo 
Phillips Academy


Sparky Yoo  student_reporter@dherald.com

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