Purnell School, the only college preparatory boarding and day school for motivated girls in grades 9-12 who learn differently, announced six student delegates will participate for the first time in the National Association of Independent School (NAIS) Student Diversity and Leadership Conference (SDLC), taking place virtually December 1-4, 2020. Additionally, eleven faculty members will attend the 2020 NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) taking place online from November 30-December 4, 2020.
The NAIS SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the U.S. and abroad. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community.
“As part of Purnell’s commitment to cultivate leadership skills and create an equitable, anti-biased community, we are so proud of our delegates who were chosen from an elite group of students worldwide to be ambassadors at this importance conference,” said Anne M. Glass, Ed.M., head of school, Purnell School. “We are confident the conference will empower our girls to view issues from a new perspective and have a positive impact for our entire campus.”
This year’s conference theme is “New Decade, New Destinies: Challenging Self, Changing Systems, Choosing Justice.” Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, participating students develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles.
The six Purnell students attending the online SDLC conference over the winter break are: Caicee Crawford ’23, Mcky Dillon ’22, Isabella Fayad ’22, Mary Clare Madigan ’21, Esther Osibajo ’23 and Shannon Totten ’21.
After just one day, Senior Shannon Totten expressed, “I went to the peer leadership [workshop] and already feel like I have so much to bring back to campus!”
The NAIS PoCC is the flagship of NAIS’s commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.
“This is an important opportunity for our educators to engage with others across the world on issues of social justice and equity, and share what they learn with our community, as we strive to create an inclusive and anti-racist environment,” said Glass.
With seminars, a master class, and more than 100 workshops on diverse topics relevant to people of color in independent schools, PoCC equips educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with new skills.
Eleven Purnell faculty members participating in the virtual PoCC conference include: Head of School Anne Glass; Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Clyde Beverly; Dean of Academics Tracy Haswell; Director of Student Life Vicky Browne; Director of Learning and Wellness™ Dr. Martha Torres; STEM Department Chair Bryanna Gallagher; School Counselor Jenn Panetta; Humanities Faculty Zoe Hildenbrand; STEM Faculty Erin Smith; STEM Specialist Dr. Kate Bendrick and Humanities Faculty Tim Coughlan.