SoCal POCIS empowers diverse voices of people of color in independent schools, to ensure equity and inclusion for all.
SoCal POCIS began as a regional division of the NAIS’ People of Color Conference (POCC). Those of us who had attended the NAIS’ POCC felt strongly that the need for an organization that would sustain the belief that “inclusivity, equity and social justice” should be endemic to the independent school community. Henceforth we set about to create programs and events that could assist the entire communities of the independent schools throughout.
The need to recognize People of Color (POC) on campuses throughout the Southern California area became critical. It was decided that the best way to support the schools was to provide Professional Development for their staff, faculty, and administrators, by bringing speakers, workshops, and seminars to campuses where different school communities could come together and take valuable information back to their schools. This became the essential focus for SoCal POCIS.
With this in mind the establishment of Student Voices and Parent Voices gave a platform for Students to share in their leadership surrounding diversity and inclusivity; many of whom attend the NAIS’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), which is in conjunction with the NAIS’ POCC. Students are given the opportunity to present their ideas, strategies and in many cases the steps they are taking toward understanding diversity.
Staying with our mission we also developed the Parent Voices portion of our programming. We did this, again, understanding that Parents may not always have a platform to share their thoughts and experiences on and about independent school campuses. So every year we set the stage and venue for them gather so they may learn how to become involved, how to create change, and in some cases how to become part of the Board of Directors of their schools.
SoCal POCIS has come a long way, and as an organization we know that the road ahead brings challenges as well as learning experiences, all of which we look forward to acknowledging.