SDLC: A Life Changing Experience

Nour Hatoum Staff Writer On an early November morning, 6 students and 2 faculty members flew out to Philadelphia, PA to  represent Latin at the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) and People of Color Conference (PoCC). The student representatives were Juniors Su Kim and Isabella Coleman, and Sophomores Merlynn Pierre, Gerald Porter, Alex Mendoza, and myself along with Ms. Buchanan-Miller and Ms. Brown as our chaperones. were all required to submit an essay detailing our experiences with diversity, how the conference could help us, and what we could bring back to Latin after attending the conference. Despite the early morning, we were all excited for the coming days. Upon settling in our hotel rooms and registering, we had the opportunity to tour around “The City of Brotherly Love”.  It was a fun day, which included a visit to UPenn and Christmas Village. We didn’t know what to expect for the next day, when the conference started. The conference consisted of hundreds of different independent schools from across the nation. We first gathered into our different family groups, essentially our homeroom, and got to know our group members. Everyone was randomly placed in certain family groups, so each one was pretty diverse. We spent the majority of our time with our family groups. We also had out affinity groups, which we got to choose according to how we identified ourselves. There were groups for basically every race/ethnicity out there, which gave us the opportunity to truly share our experiences with our peers. This was definitely the most meaningful experience for me as I attended the Middle Eastern-American affinity group. We also had the chance to attend sessions with the entire conference of 1500 kids, where we had our keynote address, various presentations, and even a talent show. In retrospect, this conference opened my eyes to the importance of diversity in our lives. I met so many people from different backgrounds, but despite our differences in race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. we all have opinions and are all people. I encourage anyone who wants to attend next year regardless of race or gender to take advantage of the opportunity at hand. ]]>