Offices & Resources

St. Mark's Participates in People of Color Conference
St. Mark's Participates in People of Color Conference

Last week, November 30 through December 3, 14 St. Mark's community members attended the 2022 NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) in San Antonio, Texas. This year's theme: "Reunited in Purpose: Elevating Our Worth, Our Agency, and Our Excellence" brought approximately 8,000 participants together to connect in person at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center after a two-year disruption due to the pandemic.

As described on the NAIS website, the People of Color Conference (PoCC) is "the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development." The conference aims to provide "a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools."

Educators who attend the PoCC participate in seminars and master classes, and choose from more than 100 workshops on diverse topics. This year's conference included speakers Charles Vogl, Amanda Nguyen, Nikki Giovanni, Shakil Choudhury, and José Luis Vilson, among others. According to NAIS, the knowledge gained from the conference prepares participants to improve the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climates in their schools, which leads to better academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes.

"This was my first time at PoCC and I absolutely loved it!" said Assistant Director of Community and Equity Affairs Lizzy Jones. "From the affinity group spaces to hearing Nikki Giovanni speak, I am coming back from this conference feeling reenergized to take on the work that needs to be done to ensure that every member of the St. Mark's community feels as if they belong."

"I feel fortunate to say that I have deeper connections with members of the St. Mark's community who also attended and a bunch of new connections with people from independent schools around the country," Jones added. "PoCC was an experience like no other and already I am looking forward to returning next year!"

Next year's NAIS PoCC will take place in St. Louis, November 29 through December 2, 2023.

St. Mark's at the PoCC: Lauren Martin '85, Visaury Moreta, Lizzy Jones, Brittney Brown, Amy Vachris, Lin Yang, Amanda Hultin, Carl Cadet, Elise Morgan, Christina Paul, Rick DaSilva, and Shrenik Agrawal. Attendees not pictured: Franklin Chen and Naina Horning.