Greenwich Teens to Host Second Student Diversity Leadership Conference

The First Selectman’s Youth Commission is accepting registrations for the 2021 Greenwich Student Diversity Leadership Conference: Difficult Dialogue: Exploring Identity to Impact Change. The program will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., virtually on Zoom.

Up to 200 students, from all high schools in the Town of Greenwich, are invited to participate in a day of reflection, conversation, and collaboration on issues that shape their worldview and influence their experiences in their schools and community.

Greenwich Academy junior Lauren Harteveldt, a Youth Commission vice chair, and youth director of the conference, is encouraged by the opportunity to engage Greenwich peers in this time of uncertainty and discord.

She is motivated to understand systems that perpetuate racial inequality and the marginalization of underserved communities.

“It is unacceptable that some people, regardless of their talents or motivation, will be negatively judged or denied access to opportunity,” Lauren said in a release from the First Selectman’s office. “This is wrong and I want to use my position to break down barriers and support people who experience prejudice.”

The conference will be hosted in partnership with the First Selectman’s Diversity Advisory Committee and YWCA Greenwich.

Both organizations have demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting community conversations and encouraging action related to diversity and inclusion.

Erin Crosby, the YWCA’s director of Women’s Empowerment and Racial Justice, will address the youth before they participate in workshops and break-out sessions.

“It is an honor to be serving in this role with YWCA Greenwich and fulfilling its mission to eliminate racism and empower women and girls,” Crosby said in the release. “Student voice remains critical to achieving racial and gender equity in our community. Young people have always led change in this country, and we need their participation more than ever to uphold democracy. I look forward to working with students and educators to co-create an inclusive and anti-racist future.”

The Greenwich Student Diversity Leadership Conference was Inspired by efforts of the First Selectman’s Diversity Advisory Committee.

“The ever-evolving social and political landscape requires that young people engage in the broad range of issues that impact their community, world, and their future. I’m inspired by the enthusiasm of Greenwich youth and support this invaluable opportunity,” said Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo in the release.

Participants of the Greenwich Student Diversity Leadership Conference will explore their unique identities and power and reflect on the ways they can use their position to impact change in their school and community.

Conversations will be supported by trained youth facilitators. In addition, youth will develop action items that they wish to pursue. Later in the month, youth will meet with school administrators to share their ideas and
plans. Greenwich youth have recognized the urgency of this work and have communicated a strong desire to engage their educators and school leaders.

Students in grades 9 – 12 can register using the program’s Google Form:

Registration closes on January 30, 2021.

To learn more about the First Selectman’s Youth Commission, visit