Advancing Human and Civil Rights –
Fulfilling the Dream Together
The 2016 NAIS People of Color Conference theme is a fitting motif for this year's location (Atlanta) and a call to action for our schools in society. Rooted in the world-changing legacy of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we at NAIS and the conference co-chairs were united in a desire to invoke "the dream" as remembrance, aspiration, and inspiration for the work of equity, diversity, and social justice. Calling explicit attention to both human and civil rights invites critical thinking about the concerns of today and also recognizes the depth and comprehensiveness of Dr. King's approach to injustice and social equality.
As collaboration is fundamental to innovation — and many of the human and civil rights challenges we face are vexing and seemingly intractable — educational leaders at all levels need to work together to solve them. Moreover, because human beings are complex, with needs and concerns informed by multiple identities and intersections, the 2016 theme reminds us that working together magnifies our capacity to confront and eliminate the implicit and explicit structures that thwart the wellbeing and performance of all members of the independent school community, and helps ensure our relevance and success.