Ten students traveled to Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, CT for the 13th annual Student Diveristy Leadership Conference. Our students gathered with more than 500 other students from independent schools around Connecticut to explore issues of diversity. Omekongo Dibinga, motivational speaker, TV talk show host, rapper, trilingual poet, teacher, and lecturer challenged the audience to explore issues of race within themselves, their classroomes, communities, and beyond.

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.
The main goals of the conference were:

  • to connect students of color and students committed to the cause with peers in other schools
  • to strengthen our informal network of those committed to diversity in Connecticut
  • to supplement national activities (POCC/SDLC) with a regional activity
  • to facilitate conversation between students and their teachers
  • to give our student leaders a forum for dialogue and action with other students representing the diversity of CAIS schools (boarding/day/single sex/secular and non-secular)