This year’s conference, “Listening for the Grace Note: Finding Harmony Amid Cacophony,” a nod to the country music capital and host city, was attended by 1,600 9th-12th graders from all over the country. Students heard from Lisa Ling, a well-known CNN producer and Christian Picciolini, an anti-racism activist. Students worked with trained facilitators to learn cross-cultural communication skills; they spent time in affinity groups and brainstormed ways to improve their school communities.
“SDLC helped our students develop and lift their own voices,” said Upper School Latin teacher Hannah Liu, a trip chaperone. “It was a powerful experience for them to meet other students who had similar backgrounds and experiences.”
“I came away learning when to share my story, when to listen and when to speak up for others,” said 9th grader Ellie Walker.
In addition to the students, 10 members of the faculty and staff attended the People of Color conference which ran alongside SDLC. They participated in leadership/professional development and networking sessions for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.
Both groups will share reflections of their experiences with the school community and discuss how to bring about a more inclusive community.
“We want to bring back the engaging activities we learned at SDLC to our school,” said ninth grader Sydney Osinloye.
Ninth grade participants included Cody Comyns, Anthony Crossman, Mason Pratt, Sydney Osinloye, Ella Schoonmaker and Ellie Walker.
Faculty and staff included: Upper School math teacher Jordan Alper, 2nd grade teacher Emily Anglund, 5th grade teacher Andrew Bevan, Advancement Assistant Renee Bornstein, Athletic Co-Director Stefan Borowski, School Psychologist Nora Goddard, 6th grade teacher Brooke Kelly, Upper School Latin teacher Hannah Liu, Kindergarten teacher Jessica McKinney and Spanish teacher Glenn Rodriguez.