IDEAS: Student Conferences


On December 9, 2022, seventy-five high school students from 11 IDEAS member districts gathered at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School for the annual IDEAS Student Leadership Conference. The students engaged in discussion and activities about identity, stereotypes, micro-aggressions, and more. 

The participating districts were Concord-Carlisle, Dover-Sherborn, Foxborough, Lexington, Lincoln-Sudbury, Masconomet, Medway, Waltham, Wellesley, Weston, and Westwood. Thank you to the students, educators, and IDEAS instructors for a great day!

IDEAS member districts are invited to participate and may send 6-8 high school students. The conference will engage students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds in conversations on issues of racism, stereotypes, discrimination, and ally behavior.

Through this conference students will:

  • Build community within and across racial/ethnic groups
  • Recognize stereotypes, different forms of discrimination, and racism in our schools and society
  • Explore and understand the many aspects of identity
  • Recognize the importance of advocacy and being an ally for others
  • Be able to inform districts about how students from different racial/ethnic groups perceive their school experience

High School responsibilities:

Prior to the conference:

  • Indicate interest in participating, with designated Faculty Advisor ($300 stipend), who will be responsible for:
  • Identifying students (diverse in racial/ethnic identity and gender) to participate
  • Arranging for distribution and collection of forms associated with conference
  • Arranging student transportation to and from conference (we can pick students up In Boston if needed)

During the conference:

  • Advisor will be present for full day
  • Advisor will support instruction and engagement as directed by facilitators

After the conference:

  • Provide a forum for students to share what they learned
  • Plan follow-up activities (between November and May) to build on momentum from conference
Naming & Breaking Stereotypes


As a member of IDEAS, your district is invited to participate in the IDEAS Middle School Student Conference. The purpose of this conference is to bring together an ethnically and racially diverse group of seventh and eighth graders to help students develop connections and alliances with each other as they focus on understanding and appreciating diversity and ways to promote respectful school communities.

The conference is offered at no cost to member districts. Lunch and snacks will be provided. The conference will be facilitated by IDEAS instructors.

We plan to resume the IDEAS Middle School Student Leadership Conference during the 2023-2024 school year. Stay tuned for details!

The goals of the conference are:

  • To provide students with the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from one another
  • To recognize and challenge stereotypes and ways in which school experiences are shaped by students’ racial/ethnic identities
  • To empower students to be self-advocates and allies for others


Each participating school district may send 6 students, who together comprise a racially/ethnically and gender diverse cohort. (Depending on the number of districts who opt to participate, the number might increase). Districts with more than one middle school will need to decide which school will participate.

The curriculum and design of the conference will be appropriate for 7th and 8th grade students.

Prior to the conference, participating middle schools will be responsible for:

  • Identifying a chaperone/advisor
  • Recruiting and identifying a diverse group of students to be part of conference
  • Arranging for forms/info to be distributed to and collected from participating students and parents (to come later)
  • Arranging for transportation to/from the student conference (note: a bus can be provided at 1:00 to transport Boston-resident students home from the conference to 3 designated stops in Boston so they do not need to return to their schools)

Chaperone/advisor responsibilities (detailed more fully in separate document):

  • Attend the conference
  • Support students in the preparation of a school-based presentation after the conference to be shared in school
Equality vs. Equity vs Liberation

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