Diversity and Inclusion

Students & Teachers Attend People of Color Conference

This fall six Tower Hill high school students and four teachers attended both the National Association of Independent School's People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
     The two conferences were held in Seattle's Convention Center. From November 28th to December 2nd we explored the city, attended workshops, and of course, drank lots of coffee.
    Freshman Genesis Dorsey, sophomore AJ Carter, juniors Caroline Godden and Virginia Nicholson, and seniors Witt Godden and Melissa Lynch all were invited to the SDLC. The conference was very structured in order to have all of the students get the most of out their experience. Home groups consisted of around fifty kids chosen randomly from all over the county. To maximize integration between students, no school had more than one person in each home group. Family groups consisted of approximately ten students from the same home group. These served as an excellent environment for intense, intimate discussion. The last break-down were affinity groups. These classifications included Caucasian/European decent, Black/African-American, Pacific Islander, as well as many more. These sections allowed students to discuss issues specific to their heritage or race and provided a kind of comfort zone in such a large, diverse group.
    The main focus of the SDLC was integrating and welcoming diversity. To have young leaders appreciate differences, they participated in a series of activities as well as discussions centered on a variety of themes. Such topics included homosexuality/heterosexism, prejudice, privilege, and racism. While the days were packed with emotionally exhausting activities, the one relaxed day we had was spent exploring the city, notably Pike's Market.
    The Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the People of Color Conference allowed members of our community become more knowledgeable about issues regarding diversity. It also provided an environment in which students and teachers could bond with each other. Overall, the trip was a complete success. We can't wait until Boston next year! ~Virginia Nicholson – Class of 2008