Student Experiences from NAIS’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference

Earlier this month, five Trinity Hall students attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Logan C. ‘23, Katie E. ‘23, Isabel M. ‘22, Jacqueline P. ‘24, and Colleen Y. ‘23 spent a week connecting with students virtually and discussing current multicultural issues and concepts. 
 
For over 25 years, NAIS has invited students from around the world to gather for the SDLC to learn how to be leaders for diversity in their communities. During the conference, participants attend workshops, seminars and group sessions that focus on self-reflection and community building. Adult and peer facilitators teach the participants about cross-cultural communication, social justice strategies through dialogue and the arts, and the importance and principles of allyship and networking. Below are takeaways from two of our participants: 
 
Jacqueline P.: “I loved attending the Student Diversity Leadership Conference. One of the key takeaway points I had from the conference was the cycle of oppression. I felt enlightened when I better understood how our society can target certain groups of people and oppress them. Not only that, but I really enjoyed the affinity groups and the movement of silence activity (to be silent and really take in what others say). Using what I learned in the SDLC, some ideas I have for Trinity Hall are speaking about the cycle of oppression and small journaling activities, along with being able to understand the difference between race and ethnicity.”
 
Colleen Y.: “Identity can help us to form worldviews and find commonalities, but when privileges are abused they can quickly become isolating factors. I talked to a lot of different students and gained a world of wisdom from this conference. Towards the end, we came up with ideas for change in the conference. I believe that de-escalation training, shown to us by the organization called Hollaback! that trains people to easily act against harassment without necessarily confronting the perpetrator, would be helpful for our community so that we know how to best help someone facing harassment for their identity. Another idea I had was having a disability pride week activity at Trinity Hall. This would incorporate knowledge of the contributions of disabled individuals to American history and create an understanding of the ableism that our world still faces while engaging the community in friendly competition.”
 
The conference gave our students the opportunity to gain global perspectives on relevant issues surrounding diversity, cross-cultural communication, and identity. Our students learned how to take action when it comes to these topics in order to better themselves and the community around them. Learn more about the conference here
 
 
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