Thirteen young women from Canterbury attended a diversity leadership conference sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Independent School's Commission of Diversity in Independent Schools (CODIS) on April 23. The day-long event took place at The Loomis Chaffee School.
The mission of the event is to bring students from grades 7-12 and adults from independent school across the state together for a day of networking and dialogue, facilitating cross-cultural understanding and a call to action to improve our school communities and our world.
Dr. Sheila Culbert, Loomis Chaffee's head of school; Lynn Sullivan, chair of the conference; and Dr. Stephanie Bramlett, vice-chair of CODIS welcomed the participants.
First-time Canterbury conference participants and returning participants attended two student-facilitated workshops during the day.
"I really loved how the diversity conference addressed racial biases directly," said Nellie Horvath '19. "When we formed small groups, we went on a privilege walk. We all closed our eyes and took a steps forward or backwards depending on whether the question was true or not. I was amazed to see the stereotypes being broken and how, in so many ways, we don't notice our privilege and biases towards others."
Science teacher and WOC advisor Sandy Behan and librarian Ellen O'Meara chaperoned the students.
Women of Canterbury (WOC) funded the group's participation.