April 1, 2023
Shady Hill School
178 Coolidge Rd
Cambridge, MA 02138

We are excited to welcome you to the Middle School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference hosted by Shady Hill School.  We are thrilled to be in-person and bring students from across New England together to learn, laugh, and grow.


Attendee AISNE Member Rate
Student $125*
Chaperone $125*


This conference is now sold out.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets, should any become available via cancellations, email info@aisne.org. Include your name, school name, and the number of tickets you would like.

Agenda at a Glance

  • 8:00 – 8:50 AM | Arrival, Registration & Breakfast
  • 8:50 – 9:00 AM | Transition to Opening
  • 9:00 – 9:30 AM | Welcome & Spoken Word Performance
  • 9:30 – 9:45 AM | Snack & Stretch
  • 9:45 – 10:40 AM | Keynote Speaker & Student Panel
  • 10:45 – 11:45 AM | Workshop Session One
  • 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM | Lunch & Learn – Affinity Groups or Social Justice Spotlight
  • 1:15 – 2:10 PM | Workshop Session Two
  • 2:15 – 3:00 PM | Conference Closing, Mindful Moment & Reflection with Dr. Liza Talusan
  • 3:00 PM | Goodbyes & Dismissal

General Session Speakers

Ibram X. Kendi | A Conversation with Shady Hill Students

Dr. Kendi will engage virtually with a panel of Shady Hill student leaders and Dr. Laniesha Gray about the themes of his work and, in particular, his book, Stamped (for Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You. Together, the panel will explore how to be a change-maker for racial equity and lead for social justice in our schools. We will also leave time for audience questions. In preparation for our keynote, students, and chaperones may wish to read Stamped (for Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You. Learn more about Dr. Kendi’s work on his website.

Dr. Kendi is one of America’s most remarkable and leading historians and a strong voice helping to guide America toward becoming antiracist. He has also produced five straight #1 New York Times bestsellers, including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest-ever winner of that award. 


Spoken Word Performance: Poems on Resistance, Non-Conformity, and Community Activism | Dariana D. Guerrero
Join Dariana D. Guerrero in an interactive spoken word performance that will inspire all attendees. Students will leave feeling uplifted by Dariana’s work, centering on race, community, and activism. Dariana will encourage us all to live authentically.




Closing Remarks | Dr. Liza Talusan
To close our time together, we will take our learning to the next level. Join Dr. Liza Talusan as we develop strategic action items—things we want to start, stop, change, or continue to improve our curiosity, collaboration, and critical thinking for a more inclusive community.




Featured Workshops

Meet the Author! Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From: A Reading

Jennifer De Leon, Author
“Where are you from? Where are you from-from? Where are you really from?”
These are questions that Jenn faced while growing up—and continues to face—as a person of color. They inspired her to write a young adult novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, in which first-generation Latinx Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new, nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, Liliana must decide what she believes in and take a stand. Join Jenn as she reads a few scenes from the book and pulls the curtain back on the path to becoming a published author.

Dancing with the Middle School Stars! 

Rodney Eric Lopez, CEO of Rodney Eric Lopez Enterprises
If you’ve ever seen ballroom dancing on TV or in person, you know how much fun it can be! It’s a great workout and a creative way to practice teamwork and coordination skills. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to make some new friends while you’re at the conference. Join Rodney Eric López, from the hit documentary film
Mad Hot Ballroom, in an exciting dance class where you’ll learn some cool steps in Merengue and Swing!

Restore Your Mind, Body, and Spirit through Yoga!

Erica Nunnally, Yoga Instructor
Join Erica for a session of gentle (but challenging) yoga practice designed to restore energy, clear your mind, and reduce a bit of stress or anxiety. Erica will open with guided meditation, proceed into a vinyasa (flowing) practice, and conclude with a final resting pose. Erica is supportive and instructional while bringing a playful sense of humor to her sessions…all are welcome…yes, YOU too. Please wear clothing that allows you to move freely.

Chaperone Workshop: Navigating the Conflicts and Risks of Empowering Students for DEI 

Dr. Liza Talusan, Educational Consultant & Author
As our students are engaged in learning about the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their lives, they are coming to this work with energy, excitement, curiosity, and a desire to build community. Yet, as adults, we know that this joyous work also comes with some real conflicts and risks. Come together as chaperones for the AISNE Middle School Conference to discuss how to best navigate the excitement and energy the students are bringing with the very real challenges of adult pressure, fear, and anxiety about “moving too far and too fast” at our schools.

Additional Workshop Choices

  • Activism at the Intersections
  • Blackout Poetry: Our Emerging Selves
  • Body Positivity: Radical Self-Love and Solidarity
  • Dancing With the Middle School Stars!
  • Disability Justice on the Playing Field
  • disABLEd Sports: The Practice of Inclusion
  • Drag Queens: Armored Dress to Fight Injustice
  • Got Privilege?
  • Heroes in the Movies: It’s Not All Black and White
  • Identity and Resistance in Cartoons
  • Identity Collage
  • Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Keeping the Faith: Religion and Spirituality in Our World
  • Let’s Talk About It: Being Jewish in an Independent School Today
  • Let’s Talk About It: Being Nonbinary, Transgender, Gender Expansive, and/or Questioning in an Independent School Today
  • Let’s Talk About It: Being Transracially Adopted in an Independent School Today
  • Meet the Author! Jennifer De Leon, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From
  • Racism, Concussions, & the NFL
  • Radical Resistance in America: No Turning Back
  • Self Care is Community Care: Sustaining DEI Advocacy and Action at Your School
  • Songwriting Sessions: Music with a Message
  • Speak for the Trees
  • Superman: Fighting Hate One Hero at a Time
  • Talking About Class: Where Should We Begin?
  • What’s It Like To Be LGBTQIAP+ In An Independent School?
  • Writing Resistance: Narratives That Clap Back
  • Writing to Community Leaders: Finding Your Voice
  • Yoga Tune-Up With Erica

Our host, Shady Hill School, has reached out to registered chaperones to provide descriptions and survey to sign up for workshops. If you have any questions, reach out to equity.office@shs.org.

Pop-Up Bookshop

We are excited to welcome Wellesley Books to our conference. They will be onsite at Shady Hill with books from our Keynotes, Performers, and Featured Speakers. 

If you are interested in pre-ordering books such as Borderless by Jennifer De Leon and STAMPED (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi for your students, you can do so by clicking here


We look forward to welcoming the following AISNE Member Schools.

  • Beacon Academy
  • Beaver Country Day School
  • Belmont Day School
  • Brimmer and May School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
  • Carroll School
  • Charles River School
  • The Chestnut Hill School
  • Dedham Country Day School
  • Derby Academy
  • Fay School
  • Fayerweather Street School
  • Friends Academy
  • Inly School
  • International School of Boston
  • The Meadowbrook School
  • Milton Academy
  • Noble & Greenough
  • The Pike School
  • The Rivers School
  • The Sage School
  • Shore Country Day School
  • Sophia Academy
  • St. Andrew’s School
  • Tenacre Country Day School
  • Thayer Academy
  • Tower School
  • Waldorf School of Lexington
  • Wellan Montessori School
  • The Wheeler School
  • Winsor School

Interested in learning more about student conferences and/or how to be a host school?  Check out this new addition to our website for more information and resources!

Cancellation & Transfer Policy

Tickets to the AISNE Middle School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference are non-refundable. Transfers of tickets from one student to another are allowed at no charge until March 15, 2023. Transfers of tickets from students in one school to another are not permitted.

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