Eighteen IMS students from the Upper School attended the 12th Annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT on Saturday April 5. Everyone enjoyed the conference, “Foresight is 20/20: 50th Anniversary Celebrating the Civil Rights March on Washington.” The Oham sisters reunited with their sister from Proctor, and Sophie Mohinda-Green reunited with her sister from New Canaan Country Day.
Founded in 2003 by the CAIS Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools, this conference was inspired by events in other regions (such as Across Colors in Southern California) and modeled after the national conference held annually by NAIS. The mission of the event is to bring students from grades 7-12 and adults from independent schools across the state together for a day of networking and dialogue, facilitating cross-cultural understanding and a call to action to improve our school communities and our world.
Presenters included Ariel Luckey and Dr. Gary Ford who reflected on how far this nation has come, and conducted frank conversations about how far we have yet to go as we ask ourselves: What are some of the important Civil Rights of our time, 50 Years Forward?, One of the most provocative thought leaders from the field of hip-hop oriented performance art, Ariel Luckey, helped illustrate some pressing topics in our news today. Ariel Luckey led participants to unpack our thinking around race and immigration in this country as he walked the audience through the danger of Amnesia. Amnesia asks what happens when we forget who we are and where we come from, when public policy is based on historical amnesia.
Dr. Gary Ford led the Adult Breakout and hosted the screening of Dr. Ford’s film, “Justice is a Black Woman,” bringing together the life and work of the only woman attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Constance-Baker Motley.
The documentary, “Justice is a Black Woman: The Life And Work of Constance Baker Motley” chronicles the life and work of Motley, an “unsung” hero of the civil rights movement. The production team for the documentary included Professor Michael Calia, director of the Quinnipiac University Ed McMahon Mass Communications Center, director/producer of the film, Ms. Susan Bailey, script writer, Ms. Lynn Bushnell, executive producer and Dr. Gary Ford who wrote his dissertation on Judge Motley and was also a producer.