Energized by Serving: Sra Sanchez at the NAIS People of Color Conference
For the second time in three years, World Langages Department Chair Esther Sánchez attended the People of Color Conference (PoCC) sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) last week when the 30th annual PoCC was held in Anaheim, CA. This year she was invited to serve as a facilitator, working with one of a number of affinity groups that met periodically during the three-day conference.
The PoCC's mission is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development, and for networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds who work in independent schools. It is held in conjunction with the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, a multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders from across the U.S. Foxcroft has sent a delegation of participations in recent years — last week included — but Esther is the first to be a part of the conference team. Here's her report on the experience:
The theme for this year’s NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) was Voices for Equity and Justice Now and In Every Generation: Lead, Learn, Rededicate, and Deliver. I had the privilege not only to attend the conference, but also the honor of being a facilitator for the International Affinity Group at the Anaheim Conference Center in Anaheim, CA.
The International Affinity group consisted of 72 educators whose nationalities covered the globe. For three days, my fellow facilitators and I worked with them on issues related to how to move from being an “ally” to becoming an “accomplice” by becoming more than a friendly observer to the struggle for justice and equity. We dug deep into our hearts to see how we do that work ourselves, and also how to recognize a bad ally, or to learn to ask for an ally ourselves. While the majority of adults in the group were classroom teachers, there was also a variety of diversity coordinators and administrators in attendance.
All of the facilitators had to go through a series of training sessions via Zoom conference calls (since we work all over the country) during the three months leading up to the conference, and attend an all-day onsite training session the day before the PoCC started. It was a very enriching experience professionally and personally and it has given me extra energy and enthusiasm to bring everything that I have learned to Foxcroft. I especially want to bring the message of voice — speaking up — and translating all of that into action to our community.
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.