This year, six Awty students and ten educators participated in the 2019 National Association of Independent Schools' People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington. The Awty students who attended this years' conference included Mia Condado Duque (11th grade), Katherine Hoang (12th), Favour Kowe (10th), Jose Mendoza (12th), Dylan Nokleby (10th), and Avani Shah (9th). Awty educators in attendance included Kate Adams, Erica Aguirre, Nouredine Boukhobza, Beatrice De Gouyon-Person, Alex Houssard, Joshua Hudley, Severine Ireland, Anna McCorvey, Tom Oden, Lynn Rizarri, Mariza Rosado, and Robert Rusnack.
The People of Color Conference (POCC) is the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. PoCC equips educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools, as well as the attending academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike.
The Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the U.S. and abroad. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, participating students develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles. In addition to large group sessions, SDLC "family groups" and "home groups" allow for dialogue and sharing in smaller units.
The conference includes pre-conference seminars, general sessions with keynotes, dozens of practitioner-led workshops, extensive affinity group work, and dialogue sessions. Attendance is limited to 1,600 students and each school may send up to six students. Applications for the program will be made public next year and a delegate of six students will be chosen by April 2020.