Morgan Park Academy’s Model UN club took part in its first conference of the school year, with two dozen Upper School students joining hundreds of their peers from schools across Chicagoland at Saint Ignatius College Prep on Nov. 6, 2021.

MPA students introduced motions, defended positions, and built coalitions while representing various countries in UN committees focused on issues including climate change and women’s rights and while participating in simultations of organizations such as the College Board and the NFL Players Association.

The team is comprised of seniors Elijah Davis, Chelsea Dunlap, Celia Echols, Ignatius Gathman, Faiz Hashmi, Christian Ikediobi, and Maanav Kaistha; juniors Kaleb Bandele, Andrew Cabrera, Olivia Fitch, Tom Gu, Joshua Kirksy, Marie Norkett, Oriella Ortiz, Nora Perry, Kyra Rosen, and Sean Sutton; sophomore Navin Nielsen; and freshmen Khalilah Adkins, Sophia Hasan, Oriah Hill, and Walter Lopez.

Highlights included:

  • Josh receiving individual recognition from conference organizers, earning an “honorable delegate” award for his work in the NFL Players Association simulation;
  • Christian and Maanav representing South Africa by working in committee to draft multiple clauses and co-sponsor a bill that formed an international women’s congress, increasing diversification of women in politics; and
  • Celia representing a senior executive from the College Board on issues surrounding international students and virtual testing.

Model UN is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about civics, current events, effective communication, globalization, and multilateral diplomacy. Students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of an intergovernmental organization (IGO).

During a conference, participants must employ a variety of communication and critical thinking skills to represent the policies of their country. These skills include public speaking, group communication, research, policy analysis, active listening, negotiating, conflict resolution, note taking, and technical writing. The conference allows participants to learn about the countries they are assigned to represent and gain an understanding of international relations.