Six students and three faculty members from St. Mark's attended the 2018 People of Color Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from November 28 to December 1, participating in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) there.
The People of Color Conference (PoCC) is the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning. 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.
SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the United States. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, participants 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. In addition to large group sessions, SDLC "family groups" and "home groups" allow for dialogue and sharing in smaller units.
The theme of this year's SDLC was "Listening for the Grace Note: Finding Harmony in Cacophony." Loris Adams, director of Community and Equity at St. Mark's, is on the faculty of the SDLC.