Saturday, April 30th, 2022 | 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. & Sunday May 1st, 2022 | 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

A two-day Virtual Conference for High School Students in AISNE member schools. Not sure if your school is a member? Check here.

All students who are interested in attending must have an adult in their school community attend the conference as their chaperone.



AISNE is excited to partner with our host school The Governor’s Academy for our 29th annual High School Students of Color. We look forward to welcoming schools and students to this two-day virtual conference.



Saturday, April 30th

  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m. | Welcome & Opening Remarks
  • 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. | Opening Keynote: Gyasi Ross
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Dinner Break
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Affinity Group Gatherings
  • 7:30 – 7:45 p.m. | Break
  • 7:45 – 9:00 p.m. | Evening Activities

Sunday, May 1st

  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Morning Welcome & Alumni Speaker
  • 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. | Workshop Sessions
  • 11:15 – 11:30 a.m. | Break
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Affinity Group Gatherings
  • 12:30 – 1:15 p.m. | Closing Keynote: Erica Pernell
  • 1:15 – 1:30 p.m. | Wrap-Up & Reflections


Saturday, April 30th

Welcome & Opening Remarks from Eddie Carson & Govs Student Leadership, Conference Norms & Student Performance | 4:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST

Pictured: Edward Carson

Log on and get ready to kick off our 29th annual High School students of Color Conference!

Opening Keynote | Gyasi Ross: Beyond Heritage Month Celebrations | 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EST

Pictured: Gyasi Ross

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation. His family also comes from the Suquamish Nation of the Port Madison Indian Reservation where he resides.  He is a father, author, speaker, and lawyer. TV, radio, online, and print media often seek his input on a variety of topics and issues. Gyasi speaks at schools and universities and at major race and social justice conferences. He also hosts a weekly podcast, Breakdances with Wolves – Indigenous Pirate Radio, which is widely available on all popular platforms.

Dinner Break | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. EST

Take a moment and grab a meal before we jump into our Affinity Group Gatherings.

Affinity Group Gatherings | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EST

Join the group that aligns with your self-identity. Connect with peers throughout New England.

Break | 7:30 – 7:45 p.m. EST

Enjoy some time away from the screen. We’ll see you back online for the evening activities.

Evening Activities | Please choose one activity to join | 7:45 – 9:00 p.m. EST

Want to show off your trivia skills? How about honing your EmCee skills or even learning more about Hip Hop History and Culture? Our evening activities are the perfect opportunities to do just that!

Option 1 | Black & Women’s History Trivia Night | HOST

Challenge your friends, teachers, and peers across New England. Test your wits and see if you have what it takes to win! We will play in teams to compete for prizes and fun!

Option 2 | Word Up! EmCee Workshop | Hip Hop For Change

The EmCee Workshop is a one-hour workshop on the art of EmCeeing/Rapping. Students will review different styles and techniques of rapping, lyricism, songwriting, and performing in order to  “Speak their Truth” and write their own verses to perform in a “Cypher”.

Option 3 | Elements of Hip Hop History & Culture | Hip Hop For Change

This workshop explores the history, growth, and evolution of Hip Hop as a culture.

Sunday, May 1st

Morning Welcome & Alumni Speaker, Featuring Lemuel Loiseau ’21 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. EST

Lemuel Loiseau is a recent graduate of The Governor’s Academy and is currently a first-year student at Swarthmore College. At Govs, they were a co-head of Spectrum (GSA), a member of the Black Latine Association (BLA), as well as a campus social justice organizer via Community Facilitator. During their time at the Academy, Lemuel strived to make Govs a more inclusive and welcoming place by facilitating conversations about community change. 

Workshop Sessions | Choose one workshop to participate in during this time | 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. EST

Option 1 | I AM KING | Jonathan Long |  He Is Me Institute


Pictured: Jonathan Long

This session provides a glimpse into the He is Me Institute I AM KING program. Students will be able to expand their social and emotional intelligence by exploring and describing their emotions. Join us to discuss your educational journey through activities rooted in self-awareness and identity mapping!

Jonathan Long is the Fellowship Program Director for He is Me Institute. With 9 years of experience as an educator in Boston Public Schools, Jonathan transitioned to the He is Me team in January of 2022. Jonathan received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in 2012 and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge College, as well as a C.A.G.S. in Mental Health. Jonathan brings a passion to uplift and empower all people, especially educators, to be the best versions of themselves each and every day.

Option 2 | There’s More Than One Way to Make the League: A Conversation About Greatness With Young Athletes  | Darren Bell

Pictured: Darren Bell

Darren Bell has made his career in independent schools working as a coach, youth mentor, and racial justice educator. In this session, he will share his personal story as a young man who dreamed of becoming an NBA player. At a workout for the Pistons D-League team, he thought an injury was the end of his career, but it was only the beginning. In pursuit of the ultimate goal, he was blessed to see that there was more to the game and to his identity than what had been taught by the many messages sent to him by our society. He came to realize that all of the facets of who he is and, indeed, that all people have, are the true potential behind making a team/player great.

Option 3 | Being a Muslim in Independent Schools | Presented by The Governor’s Academy

This session explores how our schools support Muslim students, as well as their inability to wholly affirm them. How can we challenge our institutions to be more affirming? This engaging workshop starts with a perspective from the presenter’s school, then invites others to offer commentary on their school. This session is open to all participants.

Option 4 | Transgender Experiences in Independent Schools | Presented by The Governor’s Academy

We will discuss what it’s like to be trans in independent schools and the ways in which school policy, faculty interactions, and other factors influence the experience of being trans in the classroom, athletics, and the arts.

Option 5 | Contrasting Asian Identities: East & South Asian | Presented by The Governor’s Academy

When we talk about being “Asian” who are you thinking of? Despite the incredible diversity in culture, being Asian is often viewed as monolithic. This workshop explores pan-Asian interaction and support in the context of the similarities and differences of the South and East Asian experiences in the United States. 

Option 6 | White Fragility and Hostility Workshop   | Presented by The Governor’s Academy

A collaborative, meaningful, and honest space focusing on recognizing privilege, biases, and hurtful behaviors. Of course, anyone is welcome, but this workshop is primarily targeted toward people who identify as white or caucasian. All ages, gender identities, and sexual orientations are welcomed and encouraged to join. 

Option 7 | My Hair Love  | Presented by Beaver Country Day School

My hair love is an education initiative where you can learn about the history, science, and culture of black hair. While using the MyHairLove website, you will have access to the best hair tutorials, products, and methods for caring for your hair. This is a space where all black people can learn about their hair no matter their age or gender. During this workshop, we will do fun activities that will help you best understand your hair type. 

Option 8 | Women in Nakhi Minority – The Dual Identity of Minority Women  | Presented by St.Marks School

The Nakhi community used to be one of the few matrilineal societies among the 56 ethnic groups in China. This workshop will introduce the transformation of this ethnic minority group from a matrilineal to a patrilineal society. Since the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 AD), Nakhi women have been gradually excluded from playing music, practicing religion, and even receiving education. In addition, they are even forced to abandon their sexually open walking marriage practice. Instead, they have to accept arranged monogamy. However, they have made remarkable efforts to fight against the patriarchal society they live in as ethnic minority and as women. The workshop aims to inspire participants to reflect upon the dual identity of women in minority cultures by viewing the ethnomusicological documentary produced by the facilitator and exploring the intersectionality of your own identity.

Option 9 | Am I the Drama? Culture Shock in Private High Schools  | Presented by Stoneleigh-Burnham School

In this presentation, we will be discussing the culture shock of coming from Black areas–specifically Harlem, New York City, and Nairobi, Kenya–and entering into a predominantly white high school in New England. We will compare and contrast the expectations we had coming to school and how difficult it was to blend in once we arrived. Finally, we will talk about how our peers, and the school as a larger community, can help support students experiencing culture shock. This presentation is open to all participants and all experiences!

ADULT / CHAPERONE WORKSHOP: He Is Me | Joshua  Salter | He Is Me Institute

Pictured: Joshua Salter

In this session, participants will begin their own self-exploration and get a taste of the Institute’s programs. We invite current and aspiring Black male teachers, education institutions dedicated to their advancement, and general supporters of the He is Me Institute to let us help you find your YOU!

Josh is the Founding Program Director for He is Me Institute. He is originally from Florida and moved to Boston for graduate school where he received a Master’s in Counseling from Boston University in 2015. Josh has an extensive background in mental health counseling and therapy; much of his work has been focused on providing support and intervention for youth and families in the Greater Boston area.

Break | 11:15 – 11:30 a.m. EST

Enjoy some time away from the screen. We’ll see you back online for the Affinity Group Gatherings

Affinity Group Gatherings | 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EST

Join the group that aligns with your self-identity. Connect with peers throughout New England.

Closing Keynote | Erica Pernell: Healing Me, Healing We: Collective Healing for and With Young People | 12:30 – 1:15 p.m. EST

Erica Pernell is the Director of Intrepid Academy at Hale in Westwood, MA–a semester school for Boston Public School students focused on experiential learning and outdoor leadership. Erica is also a consultant, speaker, and strategist in the Greater Boston area. She partners with schools and organizations to create more equity and justice in education. Erica has worked at the intersection of equity and education for over 15 years, including nine years as a teacher and administrator in independent schools. Taking a solutions-oriented approach, Erica uses a growth mindset to empower individuals and communities to examine current issues, imagine ideal outcomes, and take steps to make transformation real.

Wrap-Up & Reflections | 1:15 – 1:30 p.m. EST

Let’s close out the conference and reflect on our time together. We appreciate you being here with us!

Registration Information

In preparation for registering students, we ask that adults gather the following information from their students to complete the registration process.

  • Name (First & Last)
  • Phonetic Spelling of name
  • Grade (this event is for students in grades 9 – 12)
  • Choice of Racial Affinity Group (e.g. Black Caribbean, East Asian, First Nations)
  • Pronouns


AISNE Student Conferences are exclusively for AISNE member schools.

We ask that no students register themselves for the conference. All students must ask a chaperone/ adult in their school to complete their registration. Attendees will receive access to a password-protected page for the conference. This page will list the finalized agenda, workshop choices, Zoom links, and other related conference materials.

We look forward to welcoming you to this conference!