More than 150 students from around the region attended this past weekend’s SCHout Conference at SCH: “Road Trip: Journey Through Understanding.” Over 40 facilitators from SCH, led by Upper School Diversity Coordinator Polly Kimberly along with Student Facilitator advisors Khalil Queeman and Zaccai Williams, welcomed 8th through 12th-grade students who participated in a story exchange designed to cultivate radical empathy. They engaged in meaningful dialogue in a series of SCH student-led social action workshops on topics about everything from the college admissions process to code-switching.
“One of my favorite Facilitator training sessions each year is the day that we take 90 minutes to brainstorm our Social Action Workshop topics,” says Kimberly. “The room where we brainstorm is always abuzz with creativity and connection. This past November the Facilitators filled almost 100 square feet of butcher paper with scores of ideas. To witness and support the process of initial ideation to distillation into the thirteen well-researched and thought-provoking workshops they produced was amazing.”
Head of School Delvin Dinkins helped to welcome the visitors to campus and introduce the event.
“The theme of the conference and the metaphors of ‘road trip’ and ‘journey’ ask us to consider the difference between a tourist and a traveler,” said Head of School Delvin Dinkins in his introduction. “In venturing into the work of DEIB, are we just taking a peek and then resorting to familiar areas for great comfort, or are we being a little adventurous and willing to suspend comfort in favor of learning and understanding?”
In keeping with our mission to center student voices, SCH’s co-heads of Diversity, Equity, and InclusionCouncil and co-heads of Student Facilitators each delivered a short address in which they shared personal stories and messages that aligned with the theme.
"Just because you're not seeing an immediate impact or change doesn't mean that you're not making one. DEI work takes time and so does healing. As much as I want to flip a switch and change everything wrong in the world and with myself, I can’t. But I've come to understand it's a process and can't be rushed," said one of the keynote speakers, Courtney '24.
Chaperones heard from professional development speaker Ineda “Corrien” Elmore-Stratton who led an interactive workshop on coping with burnout and fatigue while leading diversity, equity, and inclusion work in schools.
The annual conference aims to connect students from diverse backgrounds and equip schools across the region with new knowledge and the opportunity to learn from equally passionate, diverse peers, and speakers.