Earlier this month, five Upper School students and three faculty members travelled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).
Students said that they had “profound experiences” from engaging in discussions about identity and race, as well as engaging as listeners.
Participants, including faculty, also joined affinity groups, providing an opportunity to delve deeper into issues.
“The most powerful thing was going to the multiracial affinity group because I had never been in a room full of people that were like me, in that sense,” Maya Bousek ’19 said. “It helped me realize that everyday micro-aggressions aren’t normal, and if you hear that sort of stuff you should speak up.”
Middle School Drama and English Teacher Nicholas Malakhow also enjoyed attending the affinity group.
“As a multiracial person, I’ve found it rare to be in a space with others who share that unique perspective where they are encouraged to talk about it, so I felt that my affinity group meeting and discussions were a novel and extremely powerful experience,” Malakhow said.
The conference, hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools, also promoted discussion about common stereotypes.
“On the professional development side of things for myself, I think that there are ways in which I’d like to reorganized the structure of the diversity work and the ways adults and staff approach diversity work together,” Director of Equity and Inclusion Jessica Christian said.