This weekend, Swarthmore is hosting its inaugural Inclusive Leadership Conference. Designed for student leaders, the conference aims to develop leaders who will serve as change agents on campus and in the world.
The conference kicked off on Thursday night with an icebreaker extravaganza and continues with sessions all day Saturday. Session topics include leadership and communication; diversity, inclusion, and global awareness; sense of self in community; and decision-making.
Facilitators of the conference include T. Shá Duncan Smith, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development; Katie Clark, director for the Center of Innovation and Leadership; Jason Rivera, dean of the sophomore class and director of the Intercultural Center; Nyk Robertson, LGBTQ+ fellow for the Intercultural Center; Will Craig ’96, senior vice president and executive coach for HG Corp; Abha Lal ’18, an honors anthropology major and religion minor from Kathmandu, Nepal; and Mira Revesz ‘17, an honors major in English literature, education, and religion from New York, N.Y.
“We are holding the Inclusive Leadership Conference in order to provide an opportunity for student employees and leaders who work in residential life and for our centers, programs, and initiatives that serve students daily to enhance their leadership skill-sets to include diversity, equity and inclusion practices," explains Smith.
“The sessions will help participants explore how to leverage diversity, inclusion, positive emotions, and innovation to effect positive change in the world," she adds.
The conference is part of a larger Inclusive Leadership Initiative that includes continuing education sessions offered during in-service opportunities and through various community workshops offered during orientation and throughout the academic year.
“We want students to be self aware and critically conscious of their own identities, positionality, privilege, and power," Smith says. "We also want them to be aware of how they think about difference, how they include and value the contributions of others, demonstrate empathy, and develop equity-mindedness.”