Over 260 students from eleven area middle schools and elevent area high schools gathered at Hope College on the 8th and 9th of October, respectively. This year marked the 17th annual fall conference for middle school students and the 6th fall conference for high school students.
At the conferences, students had the opportunity to meet students from other schools, increase awareness of different viewpoints, learn about stereotyping and its effects, discuss feelings about race, and be exposed to the college campus.
Keynote speaker Andre Daley, new Associate Executive Director at the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, shared his experience immigrating to the United States from Jamaica as a teenager. Later, students partook in an activity called BaFa BaFa - a cultural exchange simulation in which the students were taught a set of "rules" for their ascribed group, and then the two groups attempted to interact with other.
In the afternoon, the students participated in cooperative activities that encouraged sharing ideas with other students.
Emcee: Sally Woods
Hope College Speakers: Claudine Andre, the Chair of Department of Modern and Classical Language; Alfredo M. Gonzales, Associate Provost and Dean for International & Multicultural Education; and Richard Ray, Provost
Keynote Speaker: Andre Daley, Associate Executive Director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance.
Volunteers: Saleena Alauddin, Claudia Armijo, Waltraud Beckmann, Bruce Cooke, Andre Daley, Abe Gonzales, Amanda Harvey, Autumn Johnson, Crystal O'Neil, Dr. Randell O'Neil, Andrew Mead, Kishen Newton, John Schmidt, and Dianne Ybarra
Participating Middle Schools & Liaisons: Corpus Christi, Harbor Lights, Holland East, Holland West, Holland Heights, Holland High 8th and 9th, Jefferson, Lakeshore, Macatawa Bay, St. Mary's, and White Pines
Participating High Schools & Liaisons: Black River, Central, Grand Haven, Holland Christian, Holland High 10-12, Muskegon Community Education Center, South Haven, Spring Lake, West Ottawa, Zeeland East, and Zeeland West
middle school conference photos...
high school conference photos...
"People have so many different experiences at other schools and it's cool to see everyone come together."
"I just saw 'cultural intelligence' in a new light."
"Learn to observe others' cultures. If you don't know anything about that culture - ask questions."
"I enjoy coming to these conferences so I can connect and get to know people who care about diversity."
Black River student Anneka Johnston shares her reflections on Michigan Now Radio. listen now...