The NAIS 2011 People of Color Conference is being hosted in Philadelphia this year, December 1-3, but the program kicked off early at GFS on November 30, when we welcomed 20 attendees to our campus for a pre-conference visit, representing independent schools from coast-to-coast. The PoCC is the flagship of NAIS’s equity and justice initiatives, and its mission is “to provide a safe space for networking and a professional development opportunity for people, who, by virtue of their race or ethnicity, comprise a form of diversity termed ‘people of color’ in independent schools.” More than a dozen GFS faculty and staff, division-wide, attended.
One of the highlights of the PoCC is the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), a multiracial, multicultural gathering of 1,500 high school student leaders, in grades 9-12, from around the country. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies and building community. Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, the participants learn how to develop effective cross-cultural communication skills, better understand the nature and development of effective strategies for social justice, practice expression through the arts, and learn networking principles and strategies.
This year, six GFS students attended the SDLC, and Upper School English and Media Studies teacher and Social Justice Educator Meg Goldner Rabinowitz was selected from numerous applicants to help facilitate the event.