PICTURED ABOVE: Hockaday chaperones: Summer Hamilton, Sarah Mbabazi, Robyn Fullum, Mariana Mariel, Tymesia Smaw and Eric Roberson. Students: Don Ford, Angie Walsh, Sunny Li, Maye McPhail and Hibah Naviwala. Photo provided by Don Ford.
From Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, a group of 12 Hockaday students, faculty and staff traveled to the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, California to attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference. There, attendees were divided into small groups and discussed diversity issues which included ability, race, socioeconomic status and gender. The Fourcast shares some of the attendees’ experiences:
Director of Inclusion and Community Tresa Wilson
Wilson is the coordinator for the annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference. She enjoyed “seeing the reactions of the faculty, staff and students.” Her favorite seminar was the pre-conference seminar, which was about “how to assess diversity and inclusion” and “how we can determine successes and growth over time.”
Sophomore Angie Walsh
Walsh loved the opportunity to meet so many open-minded people. Despite coming from different backgrounds, all of the students listened to and considered everyone else’s opinions, helping Walsh and the other attendees see things from new perspectives.
Walsh plans to emphasize open-mindedness when talking about diversity at Hockaday.
“I think there is a lot of hesitance for people to talk because they want to avoid conflict. If we can all be open-minded, it helps everyone involved,” Walsh said.
Sophomore Isabella Quinones
Quinones, also a member of Hockaday’s Student Diversity Board, enjoyed the group discussions and appreciated hearing different people’s experience and how they were similar or different from her own. She also observed how comfortable people are with themselves and their identity.
Quinones learned life lessons throughout the conference: how different experiences shape the way people view the world.
“I also learned that there is so much that I don’t know and I need to learn more about, and that I need to be willing to step outside of my comfort zone to do so,” Quinones said.
Quinones and the rest of the SDLC attendees from Hockaday will put on an assembly on March 22, similar to the one last year. They plan to share their experiences at the conference and the insight they gained from it.
Junior Dawn Ford
Ford’s favorite experience was lunch time on the second day of the conference, because after many hours of being in a classroom setting, they got to “wild out and basically do whatever they wanted.” By that time, Ford and her classmates were “very comfortable” with each other, so they sat together at lunch and “ate, laughed, danced and listened to music.”
One thing Ford learned was “how important it is to not preach and bark at others when you want them to see your point of view on social issues– if you really want to move someone’s heart, show them your reality and your perspectives.”
Story by Ponette Kim, Asst. News Editor, and Kate Woodhouse, Photo Editor