The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

School Meeting 4/19: Earth Day, dual identities and Artstravaganza

Isabella Lo
Alum Simar Mangat (’13) describes his efforts to resolve the climate crisis through cryptocurrency and business. He emphasized the decline of biodiversity as a result of the Earth’s rapid warming.

Upper School Division Head Paul Barsky opened the school meeting on April 19 by introducing Green Team co-president Siddhi Jain (12).

Siddhi reminded students of the importance of honoring Earth Day and encouraged them to participate in Earthchella and other Green Team initiatives during Earth Week. She then briefly introduced alum Simar Mangat (‘13).

Mangat began his speech by asking students and staff to stretch their hands up and take a deep breath to ground and center themselves.

In a quick snapshot of the climate, Mangat referenced the Paris Accords, where countries aimed to limit the global increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above temperatures before the Industrial Revolution. Humans currently emit 42 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year, and the atmosphere can hold about 280 more gigatons before the 1.5 degree increase is reached. At the current rate, humans will hit this limit in six to seven years.

Mangat emphasized the biodiversity crisis caused by the temperature rise. At the 1.5 degree threshold, 70 to 90% of coral reefs will vanish, and 14% of mammals will be threatened. When the increase in temperature reaches 2 degrees, 99% of coral reefs will disappear.

He transitioned to talking about his own journey in climate work, from his time at Harker to his backpacking experiences in nature in Thailand and Peru. He founded the companies Stream, which focuses on the creator economy, Reshare, in order to support local circular economies, and Magic, a venture fund to efficiently allocate money for sustainability purposes.

Magic aims to help companies streamline the process of getting funding and offset their own carbon emissions. He hopes to help improve the infrastructure for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

With ambient music playing in the background, Mangat led the audience through a guided meditation, asking everyone to close their eyes and imagine their favorite places in nature. Mangat emphasized the importance of protecting these places and the gift of the Earth.

Teacher Eric Johnson speaks about their exploration of identity at last Friday’s school meeting. They compared their pluralities to that of the ecosystem, explaining the connection between the Guarani word “txembo’ea” and their role as a teacher. (Isabella Lo)

After Mangat’s presentation, biology teacher Eric Johnson introduced students to the Guarani word “txembo’ea,” which translates to “teacher who learns as they teach.” They then shared how immigrating to the U.S. at two months old gave them a desire to reconnect with Paraguay. Exploring Paraguay’s nature, Johnson felt a greater sense of connection to their home country.

Johnson spoke of how they identify as a two-spirit person with both masculine and feminine traits, comparing their pluralities to the multiple ecosystems in nature. They expressed a hope for everyone to find a community that welcomes unique identities.

Following the two Earth Day speakers, visual arts department chair Joshua Martinez announced that Artstravaganza, an exhibit that will display works from all of the visual arts classes this year, will open next Monday. He also introduced a collaboration with independent art curator and alum Nidhi Gandhi (‘11), who will help select the Dickinson Visual Arts Endowment Artist in Residence next year. She will be hosting a session to speak about her journey as a curator on April 29.

Associated Student Body Community Service Committee member Luke Wu (10) next announced the boba fundraiser in support of Martha’s Kitchen Food Fight. He also asked students to vote for the nature photography contest, a competition hosted by ASB.

ASB president Daniel Lin (12) reminded students of snacks in Manzanita Hall and dismissed the meeting.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Isabella Lo
Isabella Lo, Co-Opinions Editor
Isabella Lo (11) is the co-opinions editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. This year, she hopes to take better photos and design more creative pages. She likes to play basketball and read in her free time.

Comments (0)

All Harker Aquila Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *