Madeira students and teachers attend People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference

December 6, 2018

Head of School, Pilar Cabeza de Vaca and Assistant Head of School, Andre Withers, presented at the 2018 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC) in Nashville, TN. The theme for 2018 was Listening for the Grace Note: Finding Harmony Amid Cacophony.

The PoCC conference exists to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. 

Ms. Cabeza de Vaca co-presented with Danielle Heard from the Nashoba Brooks School and David Allyn from the NAIS Board of Trustees, on financial aid, stereotypes, and fundraising. Mr. Withers led a panel on Fundraising for Financial Aid with David Allyn, Ph.D., Vice President of Graham-Pelton.

Also attending PoCC were Matti Donkor, Danielle Fleming, Constance Mattox, Joel Wallace, and Becky Zahradnik . Students Kaitlin Britton-Wheeler ’20 and Lexi Petronis ’19 attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC.)

Speakers included CNN’s Lisa Ling, author and Co-Director of the Right Question Institute, Luz Santana, Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, and author Julie Lythcott-Haims, among others.

The opening and closing sessions were shared by the two Madeira groups. “It was a great way to exchange ideas and experiences,” said Ms. Cabeza de Vaca.

The Madeira SDLC student members were chosen by a blind application process. A small committee of faculty and staff reviewed the applications and considered the quality and thoughtfulness of the responses to questions such as “What type of diversity-themed assembly would you plan for our community?”

The applications were narrowed down to students who represent a diverse cross-section of the community. Each of the applicants was interviewed by the small group of faculty and staff.

“This year, the applicants offered well-written answers that indicated their great passion for diversity work both on and off campus,” said Dr. Joel Wallace, Madeira’s Diversity Coordinator. “It was clear that applicants are eager to roll up their sleeves and become skilled diversity practitioners.”

Learn more about PoCC at www.pocc.nais.org