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Regional Student Diversity Summit

By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
LJCDS students helped organize a virtual conference for Southern California independent schools to explore equity and diversity.
More than 300 attendees from 29 schools in three states dialed in to be part of the inaugural Regional Student Diversity Summit (RSDS) with the theme (Un)Covering You: Privilege and Vulnerability. In the interest of challenging their understanding of equity and diversity in their communities, students from The Bishop’s School, Francis Parker, Pacific Ridge and LJCDS hosted the virtual conference for Southern California independent school students (Grades 9–12) on February 27 and 28.

The schedule featured multiple workshops, affinity groups and keynote speaker Bettina Love’s talk on "Resistance, Creativity, Hip Hop Civics Ed, Intersectionality, & Black Joy." Summit topics included youth and social justice, self-awareness and mindfulness, advocating for LGBTQ+ equity in schools, and racial equity through a trauma-informed lens. Students engaged in conversations with their peers about personal identity and vulnerability in society.

LJCDS representatives Emma Araya ’22, Alexcia Doak ’21, Simrin Ramchandani ’21 and Carson Walker ’23 helped organize the event with advisor Robin Stewart, Upper School humanities educator and coordinator for equity, inclusion and community engagement. A group of faculty/staff members and alumni also assisted in facilitating affinity spaces.

“This conference had a profound impact on my identity and my perception of the world,” shared Simrin Ramchandani ’21, “and I am so grateful I got the chance to be a part of this experience.” Simrin shares how attending the summit ignited a spark in her to advocate for her Asian American community. Read her reflection here.

Read the Q&A in The San Diego Union-Tribune article.

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