Twelve from RE attend conferences focused on diversity, equity and inclusion
Six Ransom Everglades students attended the National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference as six professional staff participated in the parallel People of Color Conference in St. Louis Dec. 1-4. The students – Jamora Arroyo-Jefferson '24, Kaige Brown '25, Isabel Chong '24, Ron "R.J." Donaldson '25, Tyira Jackson '24 and Anuradha "Anu" Tewari '25 – met with peers from around the nation, attended workshops and heard from accomplished speakers as they explored the theme, “Gateways to Freedom: A Conference of truth, joy, knowledge and power.”
The annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders from independent high schools across the U.S. and abroad. The conference focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies and building community. Said Donaldson: “There were so many students there, and it still seemed as if we were all just one big family. Everyone was so inclusive and incredibly kind, and it made the experience that much more enjoyable.”
Among the speakers: Christopher Emdin, author, professor and creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement; Liza Talusan, an educator, leadership coach and author; and Sonny Singh, a social justice educator, activist and musician.
“Attending SDLC this year was one of the best experiences I have ever had,” Tewari said. It “was freeing, it was safe, it was scary, and it was life changing. I don’t think there was ever a time that I was able to speak with such openness and honesty … I was able to learn so much, and I will definitely implement the things I learned into my daily life and school at Ransom Everglades.”
The simultaneous People of Color Conference is the flagship event for providing independent school professionals with experience and training in equity and justice issues. RE professional staff members Joseph Mauro, Danjing "DJ" Huang, John Ermer, Carla Hill, Fritz Morency and China Hutchins attended.
The conference “allowed me the space to think about developing more diverse, student-focused pedagogies and curriculums,” Ermer said. “I also enjoyed getting to know other educators from similar backgrounds and learning about how they approach their roles and establish belonging in independent schools.”
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.