Students Forge Personal Headlines at Middle School Diversity Conference

What is your personal headline?

This question was in the forefront of the minds of the 10 Indian Creek seventh and eighth grade student representatives as they listened, processed, and enjoyed a day of personal growth at the Middle School Diversity Conference, hosted by the St. Andrews Episcopal School Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, in Potomac, MD, on Tuesday, February 5. 

Designed specifically for sixth through eighth graders, this conference gave over 400 students and 50 faculty from 22 area schools the opportunity to come together and explore diversity, identity, and allyship at this critical age for identity development. The Indian Creek representatives included eighth grade students Emma Cusack, Kamrynn Hobbs, Neto Ibe, Christian Roberts, and Mili Rosa, seventh grade students Samantha Bennett, Campbell McCormick, Anna Porter, Talayah Walker, and Kyndall White, and faculty members Ms. Becca Derry and Ms. Jessica Porter.

While the conference itself is always called "Be Seen. Be Heard.," this year the specific theme was "In the Headlines."  Prompted by powerful keynote speaker, Rodney Glasgow, Head of St. Andrews Middle School, students began to process that every individual carries and creates their own personal 'headlines' throughout their lives. In the student workshop, students considered where they saw their identities in the headlines, and they engaged in perspective-taking and media literacy as they considered the various viewpoints contained in one story.  They talked about bias, and they considered the ways in which, as young people, they could be empowered to take up causes of their choosing. Students then had the opportunity to share their individual stories and participated in a fun movement activity to explore these concepts.
The Indian Creek student representatives had the opportunity to form meaningful connections with their peers from ICS through the conference, as well as meeting students from schools across the region. While the students are in session, faculty members Rebecca Derry and Jessica Porter participated in a special workshop that explored inclusive pedagogy and provided an opportunity to network and resource share with others, led by members of the faculty of the National Diversity Practitioners Institute.
Thank you to St. Andrews Episcopal School for providing a powerful and affirming day for students.