Six Greenhill students flew to Seattle on Wednesday to attend the annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).
The SDLC is an annual event, hosting a racially diverse group of students from across the nation. The conference is a community-building event in which students gain experience in cross-cultural communication and craft strategies to aid the practice of social justice through dialogue and conversation.
Greenhill students in grades 10 and above had the opportunity to attend the SDLC. They each had to submit an application detailing their involvement in clubs, leadership roles, and why they wanted to attend. Six students were chosen from the pool of applicants and will be traveling to Seattle to participate in the three-day conference.
“I think it will be a really great opportunity,” sophomore Jothi Gupta said. “I am excited to be a representative on behalf of Greenhill and to share the experiences that I have gotten from Greenhill with a national community.”
The students attending the conference hope to gain perspective on the experiences of minorities in various schools nationwide, said senior Sampson Williford and sophomore Ashley Shan. They hope to bring these different perspectives back with them and use them to continue promoting diversity at Greenhill and to ensure that minorities feel welcome.
They also hope to return with newfound skills regarding communication and mediating conflicts that they can implement at Greenhill, said sophomore Alondra Valdez.
“[The conference] shows us how to deal with [racial issues] and talk about them and not be confrontational but have a conversation and a dialogue about them and actually have progress toward a more inclusive environment,” Valdez said.
Along with discussing various racially charged issues that are occurring in schools across the United States, attendees will have a chance to have discussions with an affinity group in which students possess a racial background similar to their own.
“It is a really good way to meet other people who might have the same issues that we face and seeing how they address those issues,” Shan said.
Another benefit is the sense of belonging derived from an ability to converse with others who similar experiences, one student said.
“It is important that people feel comfortable in their skin,” sophomore Skylar Smith said.
In past years, Greenhill students have met after the conference to discuss what they learned and try to introduce new ideas and reinforce old ones into Greenhill society. The students participating in this year’s conference hope to do the same and make the school a better place.
“We have a great opportunity, being such a diverse campus to bring all different groups together and to create some really significant change,” Gupta said.