Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Growing the next generation of leaders: the Student Diversity Leadership Retreat

In February, two 7th graders and two 8th graders (one boy and one girl from each grade) will represent our school at the third biannual middle school Student Diversity Leadership Retreat sponsored by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools.

Featuring around 100 attendees from schools in Washington, Oregon Utah and Nevada, the conference brings together caring young people and challenges them to become more aware of issues surrounding inclusivity and diversity in their school communities - and beyond. The hope is that they will use their new awareness to improve their middle schools and also hit the ground running as leaders in diversity when they enter high school. (Scroll down for more information on how to apply!)

Here are our 2012 OWS representatives at Northwest School!

The theme of the last middle school SDLR was "Is There a 'Me' in Media?" On Friday evening, students watched the young people's version of the powerful documentary, Miss Representation, which was created by an independent school parent. Afterwards they discussed the points raised by the film about bias in media portrayals of women.

Saturday was devoted to sessions led by high school students on a wide variety of topics relating to media literacy, including social networking (how we perceive others and how they perceive us), being advocates for equality through social media, reality TV and the value of privacy, and humor and stereotypes. Students concluded the retreat by creating public service announcements in their school groups to share the messages they found most important with their peers.

If you are a 7th or 8th grader at OWS and would like to apply to represent us at the 2014 middle school SDLR at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, OR, just fill out, print and sign the brief application form available on My Open Window on the Information Literacy Resource board and in the Downloads section of the 7th and 8th grade Advisory pages. It was also sent to your parents in email on November 8th. ***The deadline is November 22nd! Decisions will be announced by winter break!***