Dalton News

Dalton Hosts Conference on Socioeconomic Diversity

Dalton hosted 23 New York independent schools at its fourth annual, From Diversity to Community conference. This year's topic was socioeconomic diversity. The goal of the annual conference is to grow a high functioning, diverse and inclusive independent school community, in which all constituencies engage in supporting and valuing diversity, and sharing the collective wisdom of the group. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow was the keynote speaker. He spoke of his personal experience growing up in segregated Gibsland, LA and as a current parent of twins in a New York City independent school.

Dalton's Board Chair Cheryl Effron then posed several questions to the conference attendees in order to spur on conversations for the morning breakout session by constituent group. Administrators, alumni, diversity coordinators, faculty, parents, students and trustees met separately to discuss challenges and effective practices within each school.

As in years past, the presentation by the 50 students attending the conference was the most moving. Middle and high school students presented concrete recommendations that would help make their schools more sensitive to socioeconomic differences. One specific idea is they would like to see conversations start in lower grades in order to encourage and allow for more difficult conversations as the students grow up.

We extend our thanks to the over 50 volunteers who made the day possible, including: conference committee chair, parent, and trustee Casper Caldarola '77, and the dedicated conference committee, facilitators and student volunteers as well as the participants from Dalton and the other 23 schools for a very successful conference.

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