People of Color Conference: Before. Beyond. Amplifying Our Intelligence to Liberate, Co-create, and Thrive.
"Before. Beyond. Amplifying Our Intelligence to Liberate, Co-create, and Thrive" was the theme of the People of Color Conference held in Seattle, Washington, December 4 through 7.
The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. Allen-Stevenson sent seven faculty members (Sophy Joseph, Jennifer Phillips, Jaison Spain, Maurice Hickes, Lorenzo Bellard, Maria Paz Alegre, and Jennifer Vermont-Davis), to build effective toolkits for leadership development and for creating more inclusive classrooms.
One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Pedro Noguero reminded the seven thousand attendees in the room that “independent schools occupy a unique place of privilege in this country. As racial inequality grows, our independent schools have a major responsibility.” Another speaker shared this nugget with the educators in the room: "Our job as educators is to give our students wisdom for tomorrow’s justice."
Valarie Kaur reiterated that educators are at the frontlines of social justice. She implored us to help produce global citizens who are not only skilled for tomorrow’s jobs but are also upstanders prepared to stand up for others and fight for what is just and right.
There were many, many powerful moments at the conference, such as the opening message of the powerhouse keynote speaker, Dr. Joy DeGruy, who was not only dynamic, but also quite inspirational. Her talk focused on the conditions that gave rise to the Atlantic Slave trade and the pursuant racism and repression that continues through the present day. Some of the other dynamic speakers included Anand Giridharadas, Valarie Kaur and Dr. Pedro Noguera.
Attendees also had the great opportunity to choose from numerous workshops covering many areas; from building capacity, anti-racist teaching, equity & justice, racial & ethnic identities, and leadership and management for equity and inclusion.