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Upper School Students Grow Leadership Skills at Diversity Conference

Seven Upper School students attended the Fifth Annual Tearing Down the Walls Conference, held June 17-19, 2022, on the Ensworth School's campus in Nashville. The two-day diversity and leadership conference for independent school students in the Southeast provided students from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to become leaders and bridge-builders.

Students attended keynote speeches and breakout sessions to discuss topics in small groups. There was a concurrent faculty conference geared toward middle and upper school faculty and administrators to have meaningful dialogue around cultivating and supporting student diversity leaders. 

Speakers included Dr. Bettina Love, a professor at the University of Georgia. "She was amazing to listen to," Alma Frazier '23 said. "She inspired me to become even more involved in my community." 

Alma met a lot of students from other schools during their discussion time and plans to keep in touch with them. "We talked about race, ethnicity and how they impact you in your daily life," she said. "It was eye-opening. Things you don't see as privilege can be privilege to some." 

She advised any interested students to attend the conference in the future. "Come with an open mind and be ready to learn," she said. "Be willing to have conversations." 

HIES representatives have attended the conference since is inception in 2018.