Saturday, May 14th, 2022 | 9:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

A one-day virtual conference for middle school students in AISNE member schools. Not sure if your school is a member? Check here.

We encourage all students who are interested in attending to speak to an adult in their school community to assist in their conference registration.



AISNE is excited to partner with our host school Rocky Hill Country Day School for our annual Middle School Students of Color. We look forward to welcoming schools and students to this one-day virtual conference.


Saturday, May 14th

  • 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. | Welcome & Opening Remarks, Conference Norms
  • 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. | Opening Keynote
  • 11:00 – 11:15 a.m. | Break
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Workshops
  • 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. | Break / Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Affinity Group Gatherings
  • 2:00 – 2:15 p.m. | Break
  • 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. | Social Gathering – Dance Party!
  • 3:45 – 4:00 p.m. | Farewell & Reflections


Saturday, May 14th

Welcome & Opening Remarks, Conference Norms | 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. EST

Log on and get ready to kick off our annual Middle School Students of Color Conference!

Opening Keynote | What You Can Learn From Thousands of Students Just Like You | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. EST

Pictured: Darryl Bellamy 

I’m the kid who sold candy purchased from Sam’s Club in middle school and loved reading and going to the library. I also convinced my high school principal to make the Get Motivated Conference an excused absence to hear General Colin Powell and Zig Ziglar speak.

What I’m blessed to do now could have been predicted by others, but not by me.

  • I love my family, friends, Sprite minis, peach rings, Chick-Fil-A, and everything self-development.
  • I love helping students eliminate the fear and pain they experience as they grow and mature.
  • I love assisting millennials and entrepreneurs move past their fear to create the life and businesses they desire.

Meet you at the top!

Break | 11:00 – 11:15 a.m. EST

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

Student Workshops  | Choose one workshop to participate in during this time | 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EST


Option 1  | Let’s Celebrate Us! Honoring Our AAPI Legacy | Presented by Patricia Liu, Dean of Student Life, Rocky Hill Country Day School 

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This workshop invites participants to map and share their stories of family, migration, and inheritance, and explore how their own stories might connect with a greater AAPI legacy and history. All are invited to join, though a particular focus will be placed on AAPI history and identity.


Option 2  |  How to Get More Comfortable Talking About Race and Whiteness | Presented by Jonah O’Hara, Director of College Counseling, Rocky Hill Country Day School 

Talking about race shouldn’t be hard, but, for many white people, it is. This fast-moving, interactive workshop will talk about why that is and different ways to make these conversations easier.  While the target audience of this workshop is white people, everyone is welcome!


Option 3  |  The Danger of a Silent Voice | Presented by Michelle Jones, Director of Equity & Belonging, Rocky Hill Country Day School 

Have you ever left a conversation wishing you had said something? Have you ever experienced a time when you wish you had spoken up for yourself? In this workshop, we will review the dangers of a silent voice. We will look at ways to manage intent and impact when creating space to advocate for ourselves. This workshop is open to all students who are interested in learning how to engage in caring, courageous, and candid conversations. 


Option 4 | 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 5  | Stand Up! How to be an Upstander for Social Justice In Your Middle School  | Presented by Alpana Chhibber, Molina Consulting

This workshop will train middle school students on how to be upstanders at their schools, and show them how their voices can be used for positive change. Students will be reminded how their individual choices can not only shape their institutions but also help create a more just and humane world. All middle school students in this workshop will walk away with tangible steps on how to create change. 


Option 6  | Championing Our Identities  | Presented by Cassidy Lichtman, Path Sports & Mira Shane, Professional Lacrosse Player

When you watch people win championships and awards you probably aren’t thinking about how they might struggle with their identity. Even elite athletes are human first. In this interactive workshop, we will use stories from some of those athletes to prompt discussions around what makes up your identity, the stereotypes you might face, and how to write your own story. 


Option 7 | Cultural Appropriation  | Presented by Sydnie Schwartz, Humanities & MS Coordinator of DEI Rivers School

In this workshop, students will learn about what cultural appropriation is and the many factors to pay attention to when thinking for ourselves whether something is appropriation. We will watch a video about the history of Black hair braiding culture and non-Black celebrities’ cultural appropriation of cornrows. We will then consider other examples of cultural appropriation and tie them back to the initial definition.


ADULT/ CHAPERONE Workshop  | The Unmasking Process | Presented by Ayodele Harrison, Brave Space Building

A “container” is a required prerequisite for members of Anti-racist and Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice committees that seek to examine and dismantle systems and practices that hinder educational equity and justice within their schools.  A supportive working container assists committee members, representing diverse spectrums, with developing a connection to each other, the work ahead, and themselves. This workshop will introduce and lead a short practice of Brave Space Building – a framework for building a container that allows members to “unmask” – show up fully – so they can share selves and experiences authentically, and engage more deeply in tackling issues that disproportionately impact the lives of those who have experienced inequities in education because of their identities.

Break / Lunch | 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. EST

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

Affinity Group Gatherings | 1:15 – 2:00 p.m. EST

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

Break | 2:00 – 2:15 p.m. EST

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

Social Gathering — Dance Party! | Hosted by DJ Will Gill | 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. EST

DJ Will Gill Best DJ in Beverly Hills | Wedding Chicks

Pictured: DJ Will Gill

Join us for a fun 90 minutes of dancing, trivia, and raffle prizes with DJ Will Gill. Submit song requests here.

Farewell, Reflections, & Raffle  | 3:45 – 4:00 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 5-8)
  • Choice of Racial Affinity Groups (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!