The Black Student Alliance Conference, organized by the Durham District School Board (DDSB), was a resounding success, bringing together approximately 100 students and 21 staff members from DDSB secondary schools. The conference served as a platform to empower Black student leaders, providing them with the skills and knowledge to amplify their voices, visions, and agency within their local school communities.
The primary objective of the conference was to create an empowering space where Black student leaders could connect, collaborate, and grow. The key components of the conference included district-wide peer networking, school-related action planning, reflections on personal wellness, and accessing wellness supports through an identity-based lens.
During the event, students actively engaged in various activities and discussions, all designed to enhance their leadership skills and personal growth. Based on feedback, students expressed their appreciation for networking opportunities, highlighting their favourite moments, such as breakout room interactions and presentations of Black Student Associations (BSA) to different schools. The conference facilitated open and meaningful conversations, and students found inspiration in addressing barriers and solving problems faced by BSA groups. Additionally, students reported making new friends and gaining valuable insights on enhancing their own BSA.
Supporting the Vision
The Black Student Alliance Conference played a significant role in supporting the visions of the attending students. They found the conference instrumental in planning and organizing their BSA networks, challenging ideas, and expanding their thinking. The event inspired creative ways to raise awareness and increase involvement within their school communities. Attendees also expressed that the conference provided valuable ideas, inspired passion, and offered solutions to the challenges their BSAs face.
Guest Speakers and Discussions
The conference featured distinguished guest speakers, including Carole Sandy, M.Ed, M.Sc, RSW, who delivered the keynote address on “From Invisible to Visible – A mental health clinic for people of colour by therapists of colour.” Breakout discussions, led by DDSB educators, facilitators, and graduation coaches covered topics such as “Boundaries and Balance”, “Action and Impact: How to leverage BSA’s effectively”, and “Addressing Barriers and finding solutions around it.” Furthermore, a community network hosted by Student Success allowed attendees to explore various pathways and connect with community organizations.
The DDSB Black Student Alliance Conference was an inspiring and enriching experience for all participants, fostering empowerment, growth, and community-building among Black student leaders.
SOURCE Durham District School Board