Rasheda Carroll, director of equity and inclusion, had the great honor of serving as planning committee co-chair for the 30th Annual Southern California National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC) in Anaheim. Rasheda spoke eloquently to more than 6,000 attendees at the opening of the conference, and she gave a rousing speech inspiring them to action in equity and justice work both in and outside the independent schools.
Fifth grade teachers Monique Marshall and Sandi Crozier each led well-attended workshops at the conference, and Monique noted, “This year’s PoCC was incredibly rewarding. The personal storytelling work we did in affinity group space this year was memorable and poignant for me. Speaking to a room packed full of people from across the country all wanting to think about how to talk about race with young children, listening to my colleague Sandi speak eloquently about the power of intersectionality in the session she led, and being filled with pride at hearing our very own Rasheda speak to thousands of people at the conference opening, made this PoCC one of the most memorable and powerful experiences I’ve had in my past 28 years in independent schools.”
On the first conference day, several attendees from around the country spent the morning at Wildwood elementary visiting classrooms and learning about our renowned multicultural curriculum for our youngest learners. We were thrilled to host them for a meaningful exchange of ideas.
Concurrent with the PoCC was the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), attended by a Wildwood student delegation consisting of: Joseph B. '21, Ryan C. '21, Asha F. '19, Mira H. '21, Paulette "Ruby" S. '19, and DeShari W. '21. SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders from across the U.S. that focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community.
The People of Color Conference is the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. PoCC equips educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools, as well as the attending academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike.