Students Explore Issues of Identity at DEI Conference
Six students and 11 faculty/administrators attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the People of Color Conference, two separate conferences conducted concurrently by the National Association of Independent Schools during the week of November 29.
This is the largest contingent of adults ever attending from Webb, and our six student delegates were selected from a large application pool. The conference was conducted online with more than 2,000 students and 6,000 educators nationwide.
To create a more intimate experience for our students, the six delegates spent the week at a local AirBNB to debrief and bond with one another. The house became a second home and created a safe space to discuss their racial identities and topics of equity and justice in independent schools.
Student comments included “It was life-changing,” “I felt so affirmed,” “It was amazing to see so many other people who looked like me and shared my life experience,” “I felt like I could fully be who I am,” and “In just a few days, I felt I made some really good friends who I will never forget.”
Students and adults were treated to amazing speakers, including journalist and executive producer Soledad O’Brien, and over 50 workshop leaders who took attendees on journeys of identity, history, culture and equity.
Our Webb students and adults experienced powerful moments of affinity and heard the message repeated, “You are beautiful, deserving and powerful.”
The event followed closely after the November 17 launch of a diversity speaker series at Hooper Community Center. Students Isabella Llorens ’22 and Nick Lee ’22, Assistant Librarian Melissa Mani and art teacher Dr. Ardina Greco shared their stories of identity.
Speakers took audience members on a tour of the events that shaped their identities, accompanied by a slideshow of childhood pictures. Themes focused on race, culture, gender, faith and family emerged, highlighting the incredible diversity within our community.
The next event in the series will be held on December 15.