School News: A DEI Conference for Middle Schoolers

Summer 2019

Jocelyn Williamson (’24) from Atlanta Girls School speaks at an inaugural conference on diversity, equity, and inclusion for middle schoolers, hosted by The Children’s School. Photo by Allen Broyles/The Children’s School

The Children’s School (GA) recently hosted nine Atlanta-area independent schools for a daylong, inaugural conference called “My Authentic Self: The Intersection of Race and Gender in Middle School.” The conference brought together 130 students, faculty, administrators, and parents to deepen the dialogue on the complex issues of race and gender.
The school worked with Pollyanna, an organization that helps groups of people to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion. Its template for independent schools, which started at The Dalton School (NY) in 2011, allows high schools to replicate and customize programming in cities around the world. The Children’s School adapted Pollyanna’s high school programming, “From Diversity to Community Conference,” for middle school students. The conference was held in nine classrooms, across five different buildings. In the morning, they met by constituent groups (students, faculty, trustees, administrators, DEI coordinators, and parents). After lunch, the students presented and then the groups met by school.
Leaders across the area schools are now thinking through ways to ensure the dialogue around equity and inclusion continues in their communities.
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