Students Attend NAIS Diversity Leadership Conference

The National Association of Independent Schools hosted the 28th Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in a virtual forum this year. Six Kent Denver students—seniors Alix F. and Lindsi R., juniors Vanessa C., Elise N. and Olivia S. and sophomore Lillian H., along with Director of Equity and Community Engagement Jason Mundy and Upper School Diversity Coordinator Brooke Brewer—joined more than 2,000 students from around the world via Zoom to self-reflect, form allies and build community with their peers.
 
This year's SDLC, with the theme of “Believing and Belonging in Our Schools,” featured speakers and affinity group and family group sessions focusing on issues of injustice in independent schools.

“Every part of SDLC was so valuable, and the affinity groups were such a special thing to be a part of,” says Vanessa. “It was such an amazing feeling to be in a space with other people who completely understand a huge part of who you are—I felt as though I could truly be myself with the people in my group. I also loved meeting people and hanging out with our SDLC group here!”

“As a chaperone, it was inspiring to debrief with the students each day, hear about connections they made and reflect on what could be brought back to Kent Denver,” says Ms. Brewer.

Heather McGhee, American economy expert and author of New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, delivered the closing keynote, inspiring participants to work toward creating more racial equity in their schools.

“What I loved about SDLC was how close the community was, even if I didn't know many people,” says Lillian. “I really enjoyed being with my affinity group because with them, I felt comfortable and seen for the first time in a while. I also loved how I was able to relate to so many people in my affinity group, but at the same time, recognize the diversity within that Zoom call.”

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