RIISE Spotlight: DAIS – A Love Supreme

The Marables

The Marables

A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, do you know the album? A four part suite broken up into tracks – Acknowledgement, Resolution, Pursuance, and Psalm. A Love Supreme, one of the greatest Jazz albums, comes to mind when I think about the journey and commitment of The Marables and DAIS.


Joan and Ken have been passionately guiding the student led Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students since 1999. It was founded by their daughter Kimberly Marable (Packer Collegiate Institute), Camar Robinson (Dalton School), Katiria Calderon (Marymount School of New York), and Natalya Davis (Chapin School).

The Mission:
The Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students, DAIS, is an organization dedicated to strengthening our schools and ourselves, through increased knowledge, awareness, and respect for different cultures.  Its members are comprised of students from independent, public, and parochial schools, who wish to discuss and improve human relations within the community and society at large. 

RIISE had the pleasure of being a silent observer at a recent student led monthly meeting hosted at Chapin School and was in awe of the turn out and diversity among the students. The topic of the evening was socio-economic status with feedback to questions like what do you consider the range of lower, middle, and upper class income to be? Do you think students stereotype socio economic status?

A recent interview with Riverdale & DAIS Alum Edem Dzubey captures the value of DAIS first hand…thanks Edem!

What year did you graduate from RCS – Class of 2007
What college did you attend – Wellesley College
What are you doing now – I work for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. I work within Affiliate Sales and Marketing. We sell networks and video content to domestic cable companies.
Did you start DAIS in 8th grade – I went to my first DAIS meeting in the 8th grade. I was missing something socially in the 8th grade. I was struggling with feeling a bit out of place in my school and I missed the camaraderie and inclusive feeling I got from Prep for Prep. I was able to recapture that at DAIS, where coincidentally I was able to reconnect with many Prep for Prep alums and meet new people from across other NYC private schools.
What is the goal of DAIS – The goal of DAIS to me is three-fold: 1) to facilitate discussions of diversity among students in a safe space 2) promote leadership development by empowering students to lead discussions and form opinions 3) to connect students with one another.
How did you benefit from it over the years I feel as though DAIS was a social network that I needed in middle and high school. I did not hold leadership positions at the time but I used DAIS as a way to connect with other students and have discussions about topics that were not or rarely discussed in my school at large. It gave me a better perspective because I was able to hear a variety of opinions and in some cases able to hear about experiences that were similar to my own.
You mentioned Alumni fundraiser for DAIS, what ideas are on the table for this year – We have our 2nd Annual Fundraiser on December 27th at Highland Park in Manhattan.This upcoming year we will be holding two college panels with DAIS alums for current DAIS students. We are also looking to create some synergies by looking into partnerships with organizations that have missions that are aligned with our own.
What do the Marables mean to you – They are a strong couple that have put blood, sweat and tears into this organization. I think it is admirable that they saw a need, filled it and continued to help and support students long after their own graduated high school. It’s an inspiring story of commitment and dedication.
What was your most memorable DAIS moment I think most people would say that the annual DAIS Conference in May is their most memorable DAIS moment. I was always amazed at the level of planning and coordination that event took. I was able to speak freely and openly. For me, it was an entire day out of the year where I could be just a teenager and not feel like I was one of a few but rather one of many.
Calendar this Event
POCIS in collaboration with DAIS will host a Panel Discussion that is open to all in our communities.
When: January 15th, 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Grace Church School, 46 Cooper Square, NY, NY
Who: A panel of students of color in independent schools joined by Martha Haakmat (Head of Middle School at Brooklyn Friends), moderated by Joan Marable
Title: “What I wish adults knew about being a student of color at an independent school.”

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the wonderful article!


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  • […] Both have over two decades of considerable work within independent schools (see recent blog DAIS-A Love Supreme). Martha shared that the experiences of faculty of color often mimic that of students of color. She […]

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