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Conferences Overview

Over 250 students from nine Lakeshore middle schools and nine Lakeshore high schools gathered at Grand Valley State University on April 28th and April 29th, respectively. This year marked the 18th annual spring conference for middle school students and the 7th spring conference for high school students.

At the conferences, students joined in small group dialogues about race issues, engaged in games and activities, and participated in an interactive presentation by motivational speaker Cole Williams. Additionally, each school group shared a presentation on their school's Action Plan. The Action Plans are strategies the students designed and implemented over the school year to increase racial equity in their school.

Special Thanks

Many gracious thanks to the Conferences Host: Grand Valley State University

Emcee: Taylor Daugherty, Diversity Alliance Staff
GVSU Speakers: MarcQus Wright, M.Ed. Educational Support Program Director and Shawn Jenkins, Director of the Center for Adult & Continuing Studies-Muskegon
Keynote: Cole Williams
Volunteers: Ana Galloway, Catrina Harvey, Diana Hoeksema, Heather, Izabella, Jasmine Wells, Jayne Schuitema, Jennifer Smith, Julia Henshaw, Katelyn Kovalik, Katie Caralis, Kishen Newton, Linda Sanchez, Lisa Mitchell, Lyza Ingraham, Maria E. Espinoza, Mary Hartfield, Micah Gargala, Natalie Hillmann, Neva Kate Baron, Nick Rau, Raul Alvarez, Jr., Sonja Forte, Steffanie Rosalez

Participating Middle Schools: Harbor Lights, Macatawa Bay, Holland 8 & 9, Innocademy, Jefferson, Lakeshore, Muskegon, St. Mary's Catholic and White Pines

Participating High Schools:
Black River, Grand Haven Central, Grand Haven High, Holland Christian, Holland High 10-12, Reeths-Puffer, West Ottawa, Zeeland East, and Zeeland West

"I liked knowing that I was making a change.
"I learned some valuable ways to meet new people and get to know their background without offending them."
"I really enjoyed meeting new people and building new relationships with students from different schools."
"Being involved in Calling All Colors has helped me to become more comfortable speaking in front of groups."
"I really had a great time getting to meet new people who feel diversity is important like me."
"The program actually got me more comfortable interacting with people from different races which my school doesn’t have a lot of."
"I learned so much about the experiences of people from different backgrounds just being in a setting where we were comfortable sharing."
" I understand now that even positive stereotypes can have negative effects so it’s best not to stereotype at all."