The National Association of Episcopal Schools (NEAS) hosted their biennial conference in Atlanta, GA this year. The focus was on social justice and the theme was “Learn to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed.” These words are taken from scripture, Isaiah 1:17.
The conference brought together hundreds of school heads, chaplains, bishops, priests, diversity practitioners, teachers and a host of other educators who serve at Episcopal schools. Lawrence returned feeling both inspired and motivated by keynotes from Becca Stevens and Bishop Robert Wright. Lawrence explained the conference as, “a well of water that many of us needed.”
Read more about what Lawrence took away from his experience below.
Why was your participation in the NAES conference a great opportunity for you in your role at White Mountain?
I was fortunate to present a session on “A Community Development Approach to Equity and Inclusion” where I shared ways in which schools could re-frame their community service efforts and reflect on their methods for assessing community needs. The session was well attended by Heads of School, Service Learning Directors, and Chaplains. Many participants stayed after the session ended to continue to the conversations we started and to coalition-build with colleagues at their sister schools. I believe that our School’s participation was valuable to our member schools, and I also believe that it continued to keep the name of The White Mountain School in the conversation about schools leading from out front.
What were your biggest takeaways?
I believe that our Episcopal identity is most fully lived when we care for the most vulnerable members of our community. This conference brought caring and committed educators together for this purpose and as long as it does, our students and families will continue to receive the best lesson before heading off to college which is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.