The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools hosted the national MSAN (Minority Student Achievement Network) Conference at the Sheraton Hotel, October 12-15, 2016. This year’s theme, “Every Step Leaves a Trail,” focused on student equity, advocacy and voice. Thirteen students worked for more than a year planning logistics, selecting speakers, selecting articles/videos for discussion, designing t-shirts and deciding on a tasty, southern teenage friendly menu.
Three wonderful days were dedicated to meeting students who represented 19 public school districts from around the United States. These visiting students engage in equity work in their respective districts. The conference focus, in addition to the achievement/opportunity gap, was looking at the disproportionate discipline for students of color. During the conference, students discussed and reflected on several essential questions: - What are your core beliefs about who you are? - What is your truth? - How do you define student advocacy? - In what ways can student advocacy create opportunities to achieve equity and excellence for all students in your district? - How can student voice influence student policies, practices and procedures in your school district? The outstanding slate of speakers included Dr. Dana Thompson-Dorsey, Professor at UNC-CH, Retired Lieutenant Conseulo Castillo Kickbush, and Robert Stephens, Assistant to Representative John Lewis. Students who are interested in getting involved in equity work should attend the monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Phoenix High School (behind Lincoln Center on Merritt Mill Road). Congratulations and thank you to our Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate team for organizing and administering this successful and memorable conference...a job well done!