DAP Reps Attend Seattle Conference

"SDLC provided ways to open up about topics, not with the intention to change your opinion but to change your perception about others with that opinion."

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In early December members of the DAP went to Seattle, Washington to the National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) which hosts students from all over the country from diverse backgrounds to organized discussions and events for two days.

The conference allows for community-building and training on how to facilitate discussions about current social justice issues. Participants were motivated to help promote these conversations since many “discussions” about social justice today deviate from the topic and devolve into arguments. People need to understand the different places people come from and take everything into account rather than associating someone with a group you disagree with. Someone who feels attacked during a conversation would naturally feel compelled to fight back, which wouldn’t get the discussion anywhere. SDLC provided ways to open up about topics, not with the intention to change your opinion but to change your perception about others with that opinion.

SDLC also presented an open space for those who felt that they did not have a voice back home. The conference varied discussions on different parts of identity ranging from race and ethnic background to sexual orientation. Those who felt they couldn’t talk about their issues back at their schools or at home could finally discuss among their peers. SDLC allowed them to open up about personal topics and there was a constant theme of family among the participants.

The atmosphere was filled with support and nobody needed to feel left out of the conversation.  It was a heartwarming time to see people feel confident and finding friends with similar experiences in the two- day conference. Even though the conference only lasted such a short amount of time, these experiences will last a lifetime. You wouldn’t be exposed to the types of conversations found in SDLC at Delbarton, and that was a breath of fresh air. We are currently in a changing society and sometimes we can get lost in our own environment, but conferences like these and the DAP’s take-away’s are able to change that.