Reflections from the AISNE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference

Last weekend, a group of CRS students attended the Middle School Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference hosted by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE). They heard from guest speakers and attended workshops with students from more than 30 schools. We asked our students why they were interested in attending the conference, what the highlights of the day were for them, and what they learned and hope to share with the community. Here are several reflections from some of the CRS attendees: 
I learned what ADHD is and what it is about. My favorite workshop was about the "dilemma of race" because it was a very important subject and I learned a lot. I also learned what race is and why it is important, how it was formed, and people's opinions on it.

I wanted to meet Kwame Alexander because I’d heard his books were really good. I got one of his books – a signed copy – at the conference. It is called The Crossover. (I learned that the entirety of The Crossover was written in a Panera Bread restaurant!)

I thought it was interesting that they put you with people you didn’t know for lunch so I got to talk to new people. I ended up meeting a really nice 8th grader and we were talking about the different sessions we’d chosen earlier in the day. I liked “All of Who I Am,” because the people we sat with were really nice. We expressed parts of our identities using fingerprint art. “Anxious about anxiety” was a particularly interesting session. It was about anxiety and it talked about different things that cause it. I am someone who has experienced anxiety and I was curious to learn about what contributes to it. 

One highlight of the conference was learning about my culture and LatinX; my favorite subject was the "all style dance." I learned the difference between Hispanic and Latino which not a lot of people know. Hispanic are people from Spanish speaking countries and Latino are connected to culture. 

It was cool to see Kwame Alexander speak because he spoke about his life and how many times his book got rejected so he almost self-published. He had a lot of doubters tell him that his work wasn’t good enough, but he finally got an offer from a publishing company supporting him. Then he got a call saying he won the Nobel prize!
I also loved the “All of Who I Am” workshop. It kind of reminded me of the “I AM” wall we made in 6th grade.