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The Student Diversity Leadership Conference

Dreaming Out Loud: Waking Up to a New Era of Civil Rights

SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9–12) from across the U.S. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, participants will develop effective cross-cultural communication skills and better understand the nature and development of effective strategies for social justice. They will also practice expression through the arts and learn networking principles and strategies. In addition to large-group sessions, SDLC "family groups" and "home groups" allow for small-group, often intense, dialogue and sharing.

SDLC registration is full and is now closed. We are thrilled that more than 300 schools from all over the U.S. will send student delegations. Many of these schools' students will be first-time attendees at SDLC. 


Returning students who are not serving as peer facilitators may join an advanced family group called Diversity 201. Diversity 201 is a specialized experience designed to allow returning participants to dig deeper into issues of identity, power, privilege, and allyship. Diversity 201 is limited to 100 participants, with no more than two (2) participants from the same school.

Schools use a variety of methods to select their participants. Considering that the conference is multiracial and multicultural in its makeup, NAIS encourages schools to create student delegations of up to 6 student leaders that includes under-represented racial/ethnic and cultural groups, are gender-balanced, and have at least one student delegate who has previously attended the conference and is interested in serving as a peer facilitator. In order to fully benefit from the SDLC experience, NAIS strongly suggests that selected delegates are able to attend the conference in its entirety.

All SDLC participants, whether local or traveling, must abide by the same rules and expectations.
SDLC participants are expected to:
• Attend all conference sessions, activities, and meals.
• Sign and abide by the Student Conduct Agreement governing behavior throughout the conference.
• Cooperate with adult chaperones and with conference staff.

Peer facilitators are trained to serve a vital role in our conference by leading their peers in small group dialogues.  Peer facilitators receive on-site training for this role, learning and practicing skills that will aid them in their leadership at their schools.  Students who would like to serve in this key role and/or have attended SDLC before are eligible to serve as peer facilitators. Please indicate your interest on the SDLC registration form.  Peer facilitators will be trained on-site on Wednesday, December 7, 6:00-10:00 PM. Dinner is included. Students who sign up to be peer facilitators are not eligible to participate in the Diversity 201 family group. An additional training is scheduled on Thursday, December 8, 7:00-7:45 AM for late arrivals. 


Schools are required to send a chaperone(s) with their student delegation.  Chaperones are expected to:
• Attend one of the chaperone orientation sessions on Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM, or 9:15 PM -10:00 PM, or Thursday, December 8, 7:00 AM – 7:45 AM at the Omni CNN Center Hotel.
• Ensure students attend all SDLC activities.
• Arrange for students’ meals not included in the SDLC registration.
• Be responsible for their students during designated free times.
• Meet students at designated points and times.
• Support and enforce the Student Conduct Agreement, including participation requirements and adherence to curfew.
• Be on call at ALL TIMES during the conference.

Student delegates will receive lunch and dinner on both Thursday, December 8, and Friday, December 9. Please note that Thursday through Saturday, breakfast is NOT included with student registration. Chaperones are expected to have breakfast with SDLC delegates.

Chaperones, please also carry copies of ALL forms for EACH student with you at all times during the conference.


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