Why the People of Color Conference is Special to Me

Director of Admissions & Outplacement Nicole Victor with her two sons, Shane and Tristan, both TCS students

The Monday after Thanksgiving, a giddy feeling begins to grow inside of me. Could it be that I am excited about the upcoming holiday season? Yes, absolutely! But, there is another reason, and it has to do with the annual conference that I have attended almost every year since 2000.

The NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) promotes independent schools’  commitment to equity and justice. The conference’s mission is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. TCS will send 14 faculty and staff members to the conference, the  largest delegation in our school’s history. In addition, TCS was selected to be one of five schools where attendees can visit on Wed., Dec. 7.  

This year, Atlanta is the host city. From Dec. 8 – 10, our city will host over 3,000 independent school educators from around the country and abroad. The conference’s theme “Advancing Human and Civil Rights- Fulfilling the Dream Together” could not be more timely. Keynote speakers include Bryan Stevenson, author of “Just Mercy”, and Rinku Sen, president and executive director of “Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation” and publisher of the award-winning news site “Colorlines.”

PoCC attendees have a unique opportunity to engage in thoughtful and deep dialogues around topics of race, equity, inclusion and the challenges and opportunities that face our respective school communities. Attendees must be willing to listen actively, be vulnerable, lean into their own discomfort, come willing to support others, and be prepared to be agents of change. Opportunities abound to engage in meaningful conversations, network with colleagues from across the independent school world, and share and gather ideas. That is the beauty of this conference.