2019 AISNE
High School Students
of Color Conference

Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14
St. Mark's School, Southborough, MA

The Hope U Give: Love As a Revolutionary Act


Workshop Descriptions

Affirmative Action: Friend or Foe?
Facilitated by Dr. Walter Claire ’73, St. Marks; Sunday morning keynote speaker

Explore the origin of the concepts of affirmative action and diversity programs as well as the impact these policies and programs may have on you as a student as you pursue your education and your future career.

All Style Dance
Facilitated by Kassandra Rateau

Come learn a mixture of hip hop, locking, popping, breakdancing, afrobeat and step in this high energy high impact class.

American Beauty Standards: What Does it Mean to be Beautiful and How has it Changed?
Facilitated by Anuoluwa Akibu ’20 and Yujing Tang ’20, St. Mark’s

How has the American beauty standard, for males and females, changed? What are the potential causes? How have other cultures affected the Western mainstream idea of beauty?

Black Girl Magic
Facilitated by Naila Strong ’20 and Megan Miantsoko ’21 St. Mark’s

This workshop is designed as an opportunity for black girls to embrace their magic and the good they bring to the world.

The Border: Between Us & “Them”
Facilitated by Kennedy Petties ‘19 and Sierra Petties ’20 with Robert Bauer, Science Teacher, St. Mark’s

This is an immigration simulation intended to model the ups and downs of the immigration process in the top destination countries for immigrants. We aim to open students’ eyes to the nuances and complexities of the process and the number of people this affects. We want to bring the immigration issue away from our borders and to our front doors.

Community & Inclusion Student Leaders – a workshop for students who are Community & Inclusion Leaders within their independent schools
Facilitated by St. Mark’s student leaders in partnership with Saturday night opening keynote speaker and St. Mark’s young alum, Laura Sánchez

Come together with fellow student leaders to share the work you’re doing in your school and the experiences your community is navigating. What motivates you to lead and how do you care for yourself while you are giving to others? What’s next?

The Face of Similarity
Facilitated by Kennedy Petties ’19 and Daniela Martinez ’19, St. Mark’s

Come experience a living “diagram” and examination of what connects us. Engage in an activity that illustrates how far and deep our connections go. Discuss our commonalities with people who may not look like us or be who we expected.

From Passerby to Ally: How Those with Privilege May Take a Stand Against Injustice – a workshop for students identifying as White Allies

Facilitated by Tom Paugh ’19 with Katharine Millet, Director of St. Mark’s Saturdays, History and Social Sciences Department Chair, and C&E Committee Member, and Adria Pavletic, Director of Health Services and C&E Committee Member; St. Mark’s

People who don't identify with any minority groups should be able to learn the skills necessary to stand up for marginalized people. This workshop will help you understand how to be an ally for all people and the tools to support those who face injustice. We’ll explore what it means to be an ally and what it means to have an ally, and the power allies have to stand up for those who are oppressed.

In My Feelings: Breaking Down Conversations About Race
Facilitated by Jaime-Jin Lewis, closing keynote speaker

Conversations about race can often feel one-sided, incomplete and overwhelming. Through this highly interactive session, explore a framework for racial equity, draw on your own knowledge to identify tools and strategies for addressing racism in your everyday life, and use real world examples to practice using your voice to advocate for yourself and others in the moment.

That’s So GAY
Facilitated by Illia Rebechar ‘20 and Olivia Hammond ’19, St. Mark’s

That’s so GAY will explore the culture of microaggressions and insensitive jokes and comments towards the LGBTQ+ communities within high schools. We aim to help students realize the importance of support and care, as well as the value of LGBTQ+ allyship.

The Hope U Give
Facilitated by Jordan Uzochukwu ’20 and Nihanika Noel ’20, St. Mark’s

A workshop about finding hope in the midst of conflict and chaos. Within conflict and chaos, we have to work on self-care as well.

Live & Uncut: The Step Team
Facilitated by UMass Darmouth Step Team Members: Jocyline Semedo, Senior; Meagan McIntosh, Senior; Akhere Gbenebor, Senior; Sky Willis, Senior; Jennifer Osafo, Junior

Learn the fundamentals of Stepping. By the end of this class, you will be able to perform a short step routine like a pro!

#MeToo in High School
Facilitated by Karen Bryant, Math Teacher and C&E Committee Member, and David Palmer, Science Teacher; St. Mark’s

How do you as a high school students respond to and navigate the challenging revelations of the #metoo movement? What are your responsibilities in supporting each other?

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): Conservation Through Conversation
Facilitated by Lucille Vasquez, Sidney Simmons, Jessibel Pena, Beah Cyrus, Tori Butler, Marvin Tavares, Providence College

Join members of Providence College’s NAACP chapter who will offer mentorship about the importance of building and connecting with surrounding communities, whether it be within your hometown or your future college town. Discuss ways to create youth communities that inspire ideas to strive towards black excellence. Our main hope is that this conversation does not end with this session, but rather continues in other spaces to impact the perception youth of color have surrounding community and its importance for future generations.

Navigating Onlyness
Facilitated by Zeñia Alarcón, ’19, St. Mark’s

What it is like to be the “only one” in a space? How do you navigate being the only black person, the only female, the only gay person… in the room? This workshop will go over how to embrace who you are in space where you are alone.

The Race Spectrum
Alexander Sumner ‘20 and Truman Chamberlin ’20, St. Mark’s

Navigate the mixed-race experience while examining our connection through race via facilitated discussion.

Raptivism: Sociology Through Hip Hop
Facilitated by Kareem Chambers ’19 and Vianey Morris ’21, St. Mark’s

Activism comes in many different platforms. Discuss and look in depth at activism through Hip Hop, also known as Raptivism. Dissect songs to explore the deeper meanings behind their lyrics; interpret controversial videos; observe how notable people are using this platform to get messages across.

What’s Love Got to Do with It?
Facilitated by Loris Adams, Director of Community and Equity Affairs, St. Mark’s

What is love, and how does it play into the work of diversity and inclusion? Reflect through writing and activities on how mainstream culture defines love, how you define love, and consider the intersection of love and other core cultural identifiers.

Where's the Self in Self-Care and Self-Love at Tho?
Facilitated by Vanessa Santos, LICSW; Owner and Operator, Holistically You, Inc.

Everyone is talking about radical self-care and self-love, and the internets are buzzing with hashtags, curated photos, and memes to go along with it! You're surrounded by it, but still find yourself confused as to what radical self-love and self-care look like. Maybe you're doing too much or too little and can't get with the hype. Maybe the hype, is just that -- hype. While self-care is part of self-love, it can't be radical until we are connected to self. This workshop will help you gain insight into what self is and how to incorporate that in self-love and self-care, what radical self-love and self-care is and ways to practice both effectively.

Why We Should Understand the Critical Social Justice Definition of Racism
Facilitated by Dr. Collen Worrell, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, and her members of her Social Justice class, St. Mark’s School

In their book Is Everyone Really Equal?, sociologists Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo define racism in the U.S. as “white racial and cultural prejudice and discrimination, supported by institutional power and authority, used to the advantage of whites and the disadvantage of peoples of color.” Come to this session to join in a discussion about why we should choose to adopt this understanding of racism over more mainstream definitions.


Chaperone Workshop

Optional Workshop for Chaperone Attendees (offered during the first Sunday morning workshop time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.)

In My Feelings: Breaking Down Conversations About Race
Facilitated by Jamie-Jin Lewis, closing keynote speaker

Conversations about race can often feel one-sided, incomplete and overwhelming. Through this highly interactive session, explore a framework for racial equity, draw on your own knowledge to identify tools and strategies for addressing racism in your everyday life, and use real world examples to practice using your voice to advocate for yourself and others in the moment.

NOTE: This same workshop will be offered to students during the 11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. workshop time.


What to Bring

  • Students staying overnight should bring: a pillow, blankets, a sleeping bag and shower supplies. Pads and inflatable mattresses are not allowed. Sleeping arrangements are "camping style" in the gymnasium.
  • Chaperones staying overnight should bring: a pillow, bedding and shower supplies. A roll-away bed is provided for each chaperone.

Code of Conduct

  • All conference participants are expected to be respectful at all times, and to treat St. Mark's School as if it is your own school's campus. All of the rules that apply every day at your own school will apply at St. Mark's during this weekend. Your chaperones and the AISNE and St. Mark's teams are here to be resources for you. Thank you!

Immerse Yourself

  • This conference is an opportunity to unplug and immerse yourself in content, conversations, experiences and friendships. Make the most of this weekend by being fully present.

Make It Your Own

  • AISNE's High School Students of Color Conference is your event. It's a place to speak your truth, find your tribe, lift up a peer. Whether you're a senior or a freshman, whether this is your first AISNE conference or your fourth, there will be something new to experience, and new opportunities to inspire and make your mark.

Keep Connected

  • This year AISNE is proud to partner with St. Mark's to offer an online conference app called Sched. Use it to keep connected to your friends you see and make this weekend.



Program art for this year's conference by Kennedy M. Petties '19 St. Mark's School