By: Andrew Gong ’21
Faculty and students from both campuses attended two meetings organized by the National Association of Independent Schools. Students went to the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, while faculty attended the People of Color Conference. Both conferences were held on Dec. 7-10 in Atlanta. During the meeting, educators of color from across the country congregated to discuss this year’s theme of advancing human and civil rights. In total, 17 faculty and six students from the school attended the conference.
The attendees learned about race, religion and sexuality. In workshops they listened to guest speakers, who ranged from principals of schools to poets who wrote about cultural identity. In between workshops and speaker sessions, the attendees met with their affinity groups, which split up faculty and students by race. There, people would discuss what they took away from each session.
Participants said that they enjoyed the opportunity to learn and talk about ethnicity and sexuality with their peers.
“I not only left with a stronger understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and new tools to help our school improve in these areas, I was able to build a deeper connection with the other HW community members who attended,” Director of Financial Aid Melanie Leon said in an email.
On the last day of the conference, faculty and student attendants from Harvard-Westlake met with each other. Students talked with faculty about the perspectives they gained in the conference.
“I enjoyed seeing… students from different ethnicities, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations unite in the same space… It was incredibly empowering to see so much support and love touch and change those who are… underrepresented.” said student attendant Lucy Kim ‘19 in an email.