Upper School students spent a day immersed in ideas of equity and inclusion with students from independent schools across the state last Sunday. More than 40 students and faculty chaperones traveled to Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford to attend the thirteenth annual Connecticut Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
Country School did much more than participate; they were leaders at the conference. As Chair of the CAIS Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools, NCCS Director of Community Development Lynn Sullivan was the chief organizer of the daylong conference that was attended by more than 500 middle and high school students. Six ninth-graders, who went to the national SDLC conference in Indianapolis in December, served as facilitators for student workshops,a privilege usually reserved for older students. Country School also had among the most participants from any one school .
Omekongo Dibinga, a well-known diversity educator, delivered the keynote address which addressed this year’s conference theme, “One of Us=All of Us: Taking a Stand for Justice.” Students spent the afternoon in small breakout groups where they participated in exercises that encouraged self-reflection and group discussion.
“It’s powerful for our children to leave campus and talk to students from around the state about these topics,” said Ms. Sullivan. “They hear different perspectives, question their assumptions and are better able to understand their own identities and roles in a broader context.”