YouBelong will be held virtually on Thursday, April 7, 2022

What is YouBelong?

The Bishop Strachan School’s virtual YouBelong Leadership Diversity Summit is a gathering of upper school students (Grades 9-12) from Canadian independent schools. The goal of the YouBelong 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!

Theme of YouBelong 2022: Understanding and affirming identity: A path to cultivating well-being

The aim of YouBelong 2022 is to help us better understand and affirm our identities, build inter-school and inter-community relationships, and cultivate mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work has become increasingly draining, as social issues are exacerbated by isolation, lack of resources and the spread of hatred and misinformation on social media. We must acknowledge the toll of experiencing ostracism and fighting for systemic change on marginalized students in Canadian independent schools. Our goal is to create a space for the inward examination and celebration of our own unique identities, where students feel safe and can be wholeheartedly themselves. Given these uncertain times, students need to come together to have a safe and brave space to foster important discussions about identity and allyship. Henceforth the theme for YouBelong this year is Understanding and affirming identity: A path to cultivating well-being. We hope to see you there!