"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

Upper Schoolers Attend DEB Conferences

Friends Upper Schoolers and the DEB team, led by Kirsti Peters and Vicky Orozco, attended the NAIS: Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in San Antonio, Texas from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3! Student attendees are involved with or lead Culture Clubs, Service Committee, StuFac, DEB Committee, and Affinity Spaces at Friends. SDLC provided an opportunity for them to connect with other Upper School student leaders from across the U.S. and abroad. Throughout the conference, students had opportunities for self-reflection, affinity spaces, and community building. On the last day of the conference, Friends students facilitated a dialogue for some of our adult attendees, and collaborated on ways to implement what they learned at SDLC into the Friends curriculum, culture, and community. 
Julian ‘23 shared his reflection: “I greatly enjoyed my time at SDLC in San Antonio. Going into the conference, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. But coming out of the experience, I know that my life, friendships, and leadership skills were greatly impacted. I made friendships with people from around the country who I know will look out for me in the future. I learned about the different aspects of our identity, known as the Core Cultural Identifiers, which included age, ability, race, socioeconomic status, and others. And heard from amazing speakers such as Amanda Nguyen and Mariana Atencio who taught us about the power of our voice and action. I know that I will take back the things I learned at SDLC to Friends and beyond.”
In addition, Friends faculty and staff were invited to attend the People of Color Conference that ran alongside SDLC. Those selected to attend are also a part of the Friends Diversity, Equity and Belonging Committee for staff and faculty. Attendees engaged with other professionals from the U.S. and abroad in affinity spaces, content-area specific workshops, anti-racist workshops, and discussion panels. Memorable highlights included the keynote speakers who brought forth thoughtful, moving messages as well as inspiring calls to action for attendees. Speakers included Jose Luis Vilson, Dr. J. Luke Wood, Amanda Nguyen, Mariana Atencio, Shakil Choudhury, and the one and only, Nikki Giovanni. 

At the conclusion of each session, the group gathered for dinner and reflection, allowing participants to share their personal experience and uplift one another. Attendees will share what they learned with other members of the DEB Committee, as well as with the larger Friends Committee. The DEB team hopes to continue this tradition of taking students and adults to SDLC/PoCC in the years to come!
Friends Seminary actively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all its programs and operations, including admissions, financial aid, hiring, and all facets of the educational experience. To form a community which strives to reflect the world’s diversity, we do not discriminate on the basis of race or color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, economic background, physical ability, sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. Friends Seminary is an equal opportunity employer.

222 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
P: 212-979-5030
F: 212.979.5034
Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.