Nicole, Gr. 12, Anika, Gr. 9, and Emily, Gr. 11, attended the Diversity and Leadership conference titled “Unity Through Individuality”, hosted by St. Michaels University School (SMUS) in Victoria from April 15-16, 2016.
A team of students at SMUS coordinated this opportunity for students, from both public and independent schools, to come together around the topics of diversity and leadership. The conference involved workshops, guest speakers, and small group discussions. Our girls had the opportunity to network with students, strengthen their leadership skills, and meet people from diverse backgrounds.
Here is more on the conference from Emily, Gr. 11:
This conference was a safe place for learning and conversations about difficult yet important topics. We learned how to create environments that not only accept diversity, but encourage and celebrate it. We attended several engaging workshops covering topics such as pro-social business models, tone and body language, ableism and accessibility, LGBTQ+ representation in the media, and asking generative questions. These, coupled with a panel on diversity and two engaging key note speakers, created an informative environment and a safe space to express opinions and begin to dissect these complex, socially charged topics. By exploring each other’s diverse backgrounds and exchanging our experiences and opinions, we were able to learn more about our world and how to become more aware and responsible global citizens.
We encourage the York House community to have these important conversations although they may be difficult. York House and its students are already engaging in conversations that explore many of these issues; however, we can dig deeper into these subjects and continue to expand our knowledge.
We would like to thank our chaperone Ms. Boteju for accompanying us on this overnight trip and sacrificing a comfortable sleep in her own bed. Her willingness to endure the hard floor of the St. Michael’s library in order to allow students to participate in an engaging and meaningful conference is greatly appreciated!