D-E’s 13 delegates to the 2015 NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Tampa, FL, included six students and seven faculty or staff members. From December 3 to 5, they attended seminars and workshops; heard a variety of speakers including spoken word poet Sarah Kay and UPenn professor Dr. Howard C. Stevenson; and got to know fellow students and educators from 40 states and four countries. With a sold-out crowd of 1,700 students at the 22nd SDLC and roughly 2,400 adults at the 28th PoCC, this year’s conferences were the largest to date.
People of Color Conference (PoCC): “Art, Science, Soul, and the Equity Imperative”
Equity seminars, general sessions, workshops, and affinity group experiences were available to PoCC attendees throughout the two and a half days at the Tampa Convention Center. D-E’s delegation consisted of Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs Clinton Carbon, the trip leader; Communications Associate Terecille Basa-Ong ’03, also a SDLC chaperone; visual arts faculty member Marisol Diaz; sixth grade history teacher Ben Fleisher; Lower School music teacher Mary Heveran; Middle School performing arts teacher Carla Moriarty; and ninth grade class dean Lisa Wittner.
Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC): “Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn: The Art of Dialogue and the Science of Living Justly”
Students spent Thursday and Friday at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina training to become student leaders for their respective schools with a curriculum crafted by SDLC faculty, most of whom were SDLC alumni themselves, including D-E Director of Student Activities Maya Gunaseharan ’08, a two-time SDLC attendee. Then, on Saturday morning, the students led a discussion with their adult delegates. The student delegation included Justin Gross ’17, Seon Layne ’16, Belicia Rodriguez ’17, Jahod Silver ’18, Nevien Swailmyeen ’16, and Vanessa Velez ’16.
For the attendees, the conferences prompted reflection upon themselves and their roles both at D-E and in the world, and they shared their thoughts and experiences with the D-E Diversity Committee as well as Upper School Principal Joe Algrant and Head of School Dr. Rodney De Jarnett upon returning.