Boys’ Latin was well represented at the annual NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC), held this year in St. Louis, Missouri. Four upper school students, Ben Bykov ‘26, Brayden Black ‘26, Marvin Harris ‘25, and Michael Oliver ‘24, attended a parallel conference designed for students, the SDLC (Student Diversity Leadership Conference). They were accompanied by BL’s director of equity and inclusion Michael Powell, middle school teachers Grady Gamble and Demond Baine, and upper school teacher Alex Barron, who chaperoned the trip and attended the POCC.
Held annually in different cities around the country, the POCC gathers educators and students from independent schools to talk about issues related to diversity in an educational setting. This year’s conference welcomed nearly nine thousand educators and two thousand students, enough to fill the halls of America’s Center Convention Complex in downtown St. Louis.
Reflecting on the experience afterward, sophomore Ben Bykov said that BL’s commitment to POCC “shows we want to advance ourselves and our School as leaders.”
“The best part of my experience there was definitely meeting all of the new people,” said sophomore Brayden Black, “The connections you make there stretch across the whole country and even the whole world.”
For senior Michael Oliver, POCC was a time of great personal growth. “I felt empowered to be who I am. I felt understood, and valued for being me,” he reflected, “And I appreciated getting closer with the other BL students and the teachers who went.”