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Saint David's Participates in Diversity and Inclusion Conference at Dalton

Saint David's is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that respects and honors difference. Toward that end, a group of Saint David's community members recently participated in the 9th Annual Dalton Conference: From Diversity to Community.

Some of the Saint David's participants in the Diversity and Inclusion Conference.
From left: Pedro Morales, Michael A., Romuel P., Allison Vella, and Jessica Pagan.

The daylong program educates and trains school leadership to broaden and improve inclusion within the diverse communities of New York City's independent schools. This year's conference addressed the topic of implicit bias.

Each attending school sent a "pod" of participants from various constituent groups to the conference. Saint David's pod included Todd Cosenza and Don MacKinnon (Trustees), Allison Vella and Kim Davidson (Admissions), Romuel P. and Michael A. (Students), Lindsay Buhr and Evan Morse (Faculty), Pedro Morales and Jessica Pagan (Administration) and Kumar Kadiyala, Miguel Sanchez '97, and Will O'Boyle '94 (Parents and Alumni).

Following an inspiring and engaging talk by keynote speaker Jerry Kang, constituent groups met in breakaway sessions with their peers from other schools, sharing challenges and best practices related to the theme, before coming together to discuss where implicit bias may exist within themselves and in our school.

The group came away with actionable take-aways that we will address in a variety of areas of school life including curricular.  A significant one was the recognition that, while implicit bias is hard to change, awareness is important and the best way to counteract it is through our interactions and relationships with others who are different from ourselves.

This conference theme dovetailed perfectly with what we've been doing at Saint David's through our partnership with Dr. Derrick Gay and in our Committee on Community and Inclusion (COCI).  Earlier in the year, parents and faculty/staff participated in workshops based on the book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (Banji and Greenwald), which deals specifically with the ubiquity of implicit bias. 
Thank you to all of Saint David's participants for dedicating themselves to this important school initiative. Through our ongoing work with Dr. Gay, the various COCI and Boys Community Club activities and participation in the Dalton Conference, we continue to make strides in embracing difference in all of its manifestations. New York City has always benefited from the mosaic of its citizenry. As a school in this great city, and in line with the values of our school's mission, Saint David's is dedicated to advancing an ever-more inclusive, welcoming community.

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