Freddie Woltz ’20
This past weekend, six students from Woodberry Forest School traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the 25th annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference. The students were accompanied by several teachers and members of the faculty, who attended the People of Color Conference. Around 1,700 students attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in total, and nearly 4,000 educators from all over the United States attended the People of Color Conference.
Upon arrival in Nashville, the students were divided into several groups: a “family group,” which consisted of around 40 people from all over the country, a “regional group,” which consisted of other students from Virginia, and “affinity groups.” Students self-identified into “affinity groups,” which were spaces in which students could relate over a common identity. There was an LGBTQ+ affinity group, an African-American affinity group, a Latinx affinity group, and many more. Throughout the day, time was scheduled to be with each particular group.
Students participated in discussions and workshops in their groups. The discussions mainly centered around the idea of inclusion and equity in independent schools, but larger political ideas, such as a border wall, or gun rights, were also discussed among the students. Finally, on the last day of the conference, students gave presentations to a room full of faculty members from their state, including Woodberry faculty. Students presented certain steps that could be taken in order to create a climate of inclusivity at their respective institutions.