The South Bay Area Middle School Student Diversity Leadership Conference
Los Altos | March 5, 2015
Middle schools throughout Northern California are invited to send delegations of 6th, 7th, 8th grade students and faculty/administrators to explore the value of diversity and equity. California, like many states, is experiencing dramatic demographic shifts. School districts across the state have seen their student population grow in racial, socio-class, ELL and other identifiers.
What are the expectations of schools toward high academic achievement and social fluency as these changes occur? How do teachers address the interests and needs of diverse learners and how do students engage in friendships, and cultivate an appreciation of different others?
Through the lens of inclusion and exclusion, students attending the conference will have an opportunity to share their experiences, explore their identity, and learn from the experiences of others. By creating an intentionally safe space and various learning opportunities, students will participate in conversations where they bravely share their experiences and focus on active listening and being curious about others. Particular emphasis will be placed on stereotypes--how they have an impact on actions and the treatment of others. Students will acquire skills to challenge bias in their daily lives and in their schooling experience. This is a skill based event where students and adults will leave better equipped to make their schools safe, productive and fun.
Adult participants will engage with Conference speakers in a parallel session that addresses ways that diversity can strengthen the middle school social-emotional student experience and contribute to academic excellence.
Intended Conference Outcomes:
Shared experience with diverse groups
Confronting stereotypes within school and around the county
Provide students with skills, resources, and language as they continue to shape their identity
Equip students with tools to use when confronting situations involving bullying
Identify and plan ways to support and inclusive community at each school.