Alumni Discuss Inclusion & Equity During Dies Mulieres/Men in the Arena Symposium
Many thanks to the alumni panel who spoke at the 2021 Dies Mulieres/Men in the Arena symposium on March 3rd: Diana Escalante ’12, Daniel Hernandez ’13, Akua McLeod ’16 and Dakota Santana-Grace ’11. This year’s event, “Education as a Catalyst for Change,” urged students, faculty and staff to think critically about how we can make Webb a more inclusive community. Alumni talked about their own Webb experiences as people of color. All agreed that faculty played an important and supportive role, especially on issues related to race, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. They also shared ideas on how to build empathy through open dialogue around gender and inclusivity. Following the panel, keynote speaker Schuylar Bailar spoke about his personal journey as a transgender, Division 1 athlete at Harvard University.
Diana Escalante (she/her) is an attorney at Orbach Huff Suarez + Henderson LLP in Century City. She represents public agencies and private developers in real estate and transactional matters. After Webb, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Government and Spanish Literature from Georgetown University and her JD/MBA from American University. While at Webb, Diana enjoyed being a Dorm Counselor and acting in the theater program. Diana hopes to share her experience at Webb as a Mexican American and first-generation college student.
Daniel Hernandez (he/him) was very involved at Webb as a dorm prefect and an athlete (he played basketball and did running with Cross Country and Track & Field). He also was active in community service and the Christian club on campus. He graduated from Webb in 2013 and then went on to earn his Masters in Education degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2019. He is now a preschool teacher working to help students build foundational academic and creative skills in meaningful contexts.
Akua McLeod (she/her) is finishing her B.S. in electrical engineering at Stanford University. She is an advocate for educational equity, energy access, and renewable energy. This fall, she intends to begin a PhD researching approaches to designing more sustainable, equitable and efficient power systems. Outside of her academic commitments, Akua enjoys working to increase access to STEM education resources as a junior board member for Sacred Sistahs, Inc. and through her work as a steering committee member for Inspiring Girls Expeditions. In her free time, Akua enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and cooking new recipes.
Dakota Santana-Grace (he/him) graduated from Harvard in 2016 and has since worked at the Boston Consulting Group. While at BCG, Dakota has served as a leader in the Transportation & Logistics space working with the largest retailers and parcel carriers to improve package delivery (think about all those online orders you got this year). Additionally, Dakota serves as the Northeast System Lead for PRIDE, BCGs LGBTQ+ Group and works with 4 of BCGs largest offices and their leadership teams to build LGBTQ+ support in corporate America. At Webb, Dakota was a Peccary Scholar, Rogers Scholar, founder of the debate program, and an active theater participant.