By Jessica Pupo
For many Simmons students, taking on a leadership position can be a daunting decision. Those who aren’t comfortable having all eyes on them may think that they can’t lead. Leadership, however, is more than a sum of certain personality traits.
The tenth annual Student Multicultural Leadership Conference on Jan. 17 hoped to dispel these kinds of thoughts and encourage Simmons students to be leaders in campus organizations and their local communities. Hosted by the Like Minds Coalition, the conference highlighted diversity and inclusion for effective leadership and its role for equal representation for all members of a group or community.
The conference hosted four different sessions which combined workshops and interactive discus- sion in order to equip Simmons students with the tools and values they need to be leaders for their communities. Attention was given to the challenges that individuals from marginalized groups and identities face when attempting to gain a position of power, which hinders opportunities to lead. Maddy Hill, a freshman nursing major, enjoyed the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Panel, which focused on fostering a more inclusive culture on campus.
“It was great to see all different people from all walks of life coming together to discuss how it is like to be a leader in a community,” Hill said.
Other topics discussed were how the recent election serves as a moment to reflect on our diverse experiences and identities, the intersection of human rights and social justice, and the importance of active listening in leading.
“It was definitely all about diversity and inclusion,” Hill said. “I thought it was great to learn about other people’s struggles and ups and downs. I love learning about new cultures and how they fit into my life as well as others.”