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An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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King School Attends Student Diversity Leadership Conference
SDLC at Hopkins

Eight members of the King community attended the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Commission on Diversity’s Student Diversity Leadership Conference on April 2 at Hopkins School. The event brought independent schools across the state together to foster cross-cultural understanding and take action to improve the school communities regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.


“Attending these student diversity and leadership conferences (SDLC) offers a chance to learn more about what I can do in the world to make a difference,” said Kioja Duff ’25, one of four students to attend. “At this SDLC, I obtained more information on the world’s inequalities and met new people who want to bring this information back to our schools. We learn how to plan and build a future we want to be a part of and start to rewrite the narrative within our community.”

Organized in 1950, CAIS is a voluntary association of 90 non-profit independent schools serving over 32,000 students from all Connecticut towns. One of its priorities is to create an environment that reflects the diversity of the schools it represents.

Dr Beverly

“To have over 400 students and adult educators gather on a weekend for a full day of programming centered around addressing issues of DEIB within our school communities is very powerful,” said King’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Dr. Clyde Beverly III.

Beverly serves on the CAIS Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools and led the Grade 11 breakout session for students. He stressed the benefit of bringing students together from across the state.

“It's very important for our students and other community members to realize that this work is not only happening at King,” he said. “Furthermore, when we partner with others and build our collective voices, we can effect change in an even stronger way.”
Kioja said the experience left her aware of areas needing improvement within the independent school communities.

“I was able to get a look into how other students experience diversity in their schools, specifically around socioeconomic status,” she said. “I was able to get a more in-depth understanding of how in independent schools, a big part of students' social lives tends to revolve around their social class.”

Beverly said he is proud of King’s representation at the conference and looks forward to seeing how attendees will apply the knowledge, awareness, and skills gained there. Seeing the students work together offered hope for improvements for all of the school communities on hand.

“The final activity involved all of the attendees forming a circle and creating a web made out of yarn in which each person committed to being an agent of change in some way in their school community after attending the conference,” he said. “We had so many in attendance we ran out of yarn in every age/grade group. To see the students networking with other students from all over the state of Connecticut was also very moving and inspiring.”