Six Upper School students are virtually attending the week-long Student Diversity Leadership Conference of the annual People of Color Conference (PoCC), held Nov. 30-Dec. 4.
The Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders in grades 9-12 from around the world. Each year, Agnes Irwin selects six student delegates to attend the conference. This year’s delegates — Andi Oates ’22, Ava Sim ’22, Chelsea Seegars ’22, Elle Birdsall ’23, Nicole Kramer ’22, and Sarah Toth ’22 — attended SDLC in its new virtual conference.
SDLC’s theme this year is New Decade, New Destinies: Challenging Self, Changing Systems, Choosing Justice. The week-long, virtual student leadership conference is led by a diverse team of trained adults and peer facilitators. The students attended larger group sessions focused on developing cross-cultural communication skills, learning the foundations of allyship and networking, and creating strategies for social justice practice through discussions and the arts. They also broke into smaller SDLC “family groups” to allow for more personal sharing and experiences, and had some fun too with the SDLC Talent Show and other virtual evening social events.
This year’s SDLC keynote speaker, Lyla June, is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community organizer of Dine (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. She engages global audiences towards personal, collective and ecological healing with her multi-genre presentation style and spoke to the student leaders on Thursday.
SDLC is the student-centered portion of the People of Color Conference. PoCC takes place concurrently and is focused on bringing people of color and allies at independent schools together to reflect on experiences in order to learn from each other. This year’s PoCC attendees include Sally Keidel (Head of School), Camille Seals (Assistant Head of School for Academics & Inclusive Excellence; Interim Upper School Director), John Gomes (Interim Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Upper School Mathematics Teacher, Upper School Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion), Donna Page (Upper School Administrative Assistant; Staff Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), Kim Beamon (LS/MS Teacher; LS Counselor; LS Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; International Student Liaison), Trish Siembora (LS Art Teacher), and several members of Agnes Irwin’s Board of Trustees.
We’re excited for our students to share their SDLC experiences with us!