Personal Narrative: National Student Diversity Leadership Conference In Indianapolis

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Last December, I participated in the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Indianapolis. The conference was three days of intensive discussions about social justice and race, among a broad range of American high school students. There was an incredible energy at the conference because every person wanted to be there; everyone wanted to advance the conversation. I left with a burning need to bring this type of honest discussion back home. When I got back to Pingry, a golden opportunity presented itself. The school was launching a program featuring affinity groups, to provide a safe environment for people who share the same race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation to discuss their experiences. Someone had to announce the program before the entire school during an assembly, and I jumped at this chance to share what I had learned at the conference and kickstart a dialogue. I didn’t know that this announcement would forever change my perception of my school, my friends, and myself.…show more content…
Many said this program encouraged segregation, “reverse racism,” or that “this isn’t a problem at Pingry.” I was told that SDLC (also the name of my school’s diversity club) was “brainwashed” by an overly-politically correct administration. It soon seemed like every minute of my day had been taken over by this controversy. In my Spanish class, a boy asked me sarcastically, “Could I get an ID to let me into the LGBT group? Is there a list they check us against?” I was aching for a real discussion as everyone around me was only interested in making

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