Student Leaders Share Reflections on the SLDC
The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) hosted the annual Online Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SLDC) from December 1 to 4, 2020. Six of our high school students attended the conference, and below, they share some of their reflections about the experience.
(Article image courtesy of the National Association of Independent Schools)
Jane B. '21, IL7 Student
"The Student Diversity Leadership Conference was an amazing opportunity to hear the stories of students from across the country and abroad. I was able to explore my identity and what I can do to ensure that the learning environment promotes equity, inclusion, and justice among all students.
It was great to see that there are so many students from all around the world ready to do what’s necessary to create fairer schools and a fairer society for people of all identities."
Nunu Z. '22, IL7 Student
"I am so thankful to have been able to experience the Student Diversity Leadership Conference this year. I have learned so much from being able to talk and hear from students, equally as passionate about equity, inclusion, and justice. Though many of our stories and experiences differed, we all had the same end goal to help improve our schools, communities, and beyond—which was incredibly empowering to see.
Going forward, the KLS EIJ Team has been able to take a lot from the conference, and we are working hard to implement our ideas; these ideas include creating affinity group spaces for students who identify similarly to be able to honestly and openly talk with each other as well as developing more opportunities and curriculum for the broader community to have experiences as eye opening, engaging, and fun as this one was."
Mishal J. '22, IL7 Student
"The SDLC was a great opportunity to learn about the individual experiences of other students, who worked as part of groups like EIJ, across the world. I personally was inspired a lot by affinity groups and we hope to implement that and other ideas we were given in this experience.
I hope we can build an even stronger community where everyone has a space to share their experiences and we are all able to empathize with each other."
Katarina F. '22, IL7 Student
"The Student Diversity Leadership Conference was a great experience for me and my classmates. We were
able to learn more about different cultures and viewpoints. I was in awe with the flexibility of most affinity groups, especially with trying out other groups if one group didn’t fit right. I think there are a lot of things that we learned in the conference that we could bring back to KLS, such as games that let students understand what other students are going through, such as silent movements and so on.
I also believe that it would be great if there was an affinity group-style of things at KLS where students of the same/similar identity could meet up once in a while and check in with each other. The SDLC was very eye opening, as a lot of issues that I thought didn’t exist anymore were some of the main topics in the conference and allowed us to reflect inwardly if our community was having any of these issues as well."
Bella T. '21, IL7 Student
"The Student Diversity Leadership Conference was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m so glad I got to be a part of. In those 5 days I got to talk to more student leaders who wanted to actively make change than ever before. It was so inspiring to be part of the same space as the guest speaker and also just the bond that was made in the family groups.
I not only was able to express my own concerns but was able to listen to many people talk about active issues in their communities that I wasn’t even aware of. The affinity groups created a safe place and such a wonderful community, and I hope to bring that same idea and mindset to KLS. I was able to be candid and discuss problems facing the education system and brainstorm solutions.
I would recommend this conference to anyone interested in social justice and any other student leaders out there who want their voice heard. I wish I could attend it again!"
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