YouBelong will be held on Friday, February 19, 2021 virtually.

What is "You Belong"?

The Bishop Strachan School’s virtual You Belong Summit, which is hosted on February 19th, is a gathering of upper school students (grades 8-12) from all CAIS (Canadian Independent Schools). The goal of the "You Belong Summit" is to create an environment for greater discussion and collaboration between students with broad perspectives from different schools. The summit will allow for a safe space for students to share with and learn from one another’s experiences, helping to create a stronger sense of allyship and interschool connections. Students will build on their skills and be empowered to lead their respective schools towards becoming more inclusive and aware environments. As this conference is influenced by the Student Diversity and Leadership Conference from the National Association of Independent Schools in America, we highly encourage students from diverse backgrounds to attend our summit!

Why?

Today, words like "diversity" and "inclusion" have become buzzwords in the interschool community. While many schools advertise themselves as diverse and inclusive communities, many students still struggle to feel welcome within their own school hallways. As a result, we decided to create the You Belong Summit to create a space where everyone feels their experiences and voices matter. Our goal is to ensure that everyone feels welcome in their school community and supported by the broader interschool school community as well. It is only by opening ourselves up to learning that we can grow and encourage our schools to be better places for today's students and future generations to come.

Although we recognize the strides that many schools have made to become more socially conscious environments, we must also acknowledge that there is still much more work to be done. We hope that the You Belong Summit can help to strengthen both our schools and ourselves through knowledge, awareness and respect for the many identities that make up the broader interschool community. We hope to see you there!