Valuable diversity and leadership insights gained at YouBelong Summit

On April 7th, two Trinity College School Senior School students joined other independent school students from across Canada to take part in this year’s YouBelong Leadership Diversity Summit. Hosted online by The Bishop Strachan School, this unique opportunity was open to students who are committed to fostering inclusive spaces in their community.

The aim of YouBelong 2022 was to help students Grades 9-12 “better understand and affirm their identities, build inter-school and inter-community relationships, and cultivate mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.” With the theme of “Understanding and affirming identity: A path to cultivating wellbeing,” this year’s summit allowed students to come together in a safe space for important discussions related to identity and allyship.

In addition to keynote speaker Anishnaabe writer and activist Riley Yesno, the event included an identity development workshop; affinity groups where students of similar identities can discuss their shared experiences; and regional meetings to allow students from similar locations to discuss issues specific to their schools and potential steps they can take to address those issues.

Student feedback following the summit was positive and included:

“It was informative because I learned so much about what I can do to help the causes I believe in.”

“The summit was an interesting experience. I haven't attended something that focused on identity as much as this. It makes me value identity more than before, and understand that it's not just where you are born… It helped me also understand how to better understand the struggles certain people have with identity.”

TCS is grateful for this opportunity to continue student discussions related to themes of inclusion and belonging and in support of overall wellbeing.