Battle Ground Academy (Franklin, TN)
Baylor School (Chattanooga, TN)
Ensworth School (Nashville, TN)
Evangelical Christian School (Cordova, TN)
Fort Worth Country Day (Ft. Worth, TX)
Harpeth Hall School (Nashville, TN)
Holy Innocents' Episcopal School  (Atlanta, GA)
Hutchison School (Memphis, TN)
The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)
McCallie School (Chattanooga, TN)
Memphis University School (Memphis, TN)
Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, TN)
The Paideia School (Atlanta, GA)
Pace Academy (Atlanta, GA)
Providence Christian Academy (Murfreesboro, TN)
St. Andrews--Sewanee School (Sewanee, TN)
St. George's Independent School (Memphis, TN)
St. Mary's Episcopal School (Memphis, TN)
Trinity Valley School (Ft. Worth, TX)
University School of Nashville (Nashville, TN)
The Walker School (Marietta, GA)
Westminster Schools (Atlanta, GA)

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see pictures from past conferences and to keep up with what our participants are doing to tear down walls in their schools and communities.

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Tim Wise

As an anti-racist writer and educator in the United States, Tim Wise has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country. He is also the host of the new podcast, “Speak Out with Tim Wise.”


He has trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military, and medical industry professionals on methods for stopping racism in their institutions.

He is the author of seven books:


Wise was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute from 1999-2003. He has been featured in documentaries such as “White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America,” as well as “Vocabulary of Change,” in which the connections between issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and militarism are discussed.

He graduated from Tulane University and received antiracism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans.

Dr. Daryl Scott

Professor Scott specializes in modern United States History and has taught at Howard since 2003. He previously taught at the University of Florida and Columbia University. He received his doctorate from Stanford University in 1994.


His book, Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996, won the Organization of American Historian's 1998 James Rawley Prize for the best work in race relations. His essay, “Postwar Pluralism, Brown v. Board of Education, and the Origins of Multicultural Education,” was published in the Journal of American History in 2004.


He is the editor of three books, including a lost manuscript he discovered by Carter G. Woodson, Carter G. Woodson’s Appeal, which was published in 2008.

He was the founding co-editor of Fire!!!: The Multi-Media Journal of Black Studies, the second multimedia journal on the JSTOR platform. In 2005, he established and served as the director of the ASALH Press, which replaced the Associated Publishers as the publishing arm of the organization.

He served on the editorial board of the Journal of African American History from 2000-2016. He has served on several book award committees, including for the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Pulitzer Prize Committee.

He has served as a director of Black Studies program at the University of Florida and as chair of the Department of History at Howard University. From 2013 to 2015, he served as Centennial President for the Association for the Study of African American History.

Joanne Brown

Joanne Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned a degree in psychology. She also has a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, having practiced law in metro Atlanta as a civil litigator for more than 15 years. She currently serves as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Pace Academy, located in Atlanta, GA. Prior to stepping in that role, Joanne spent several years doing admissions work as Associate Director of Admissions for Middle and Upper School at Pace and as the Director of Admissions at Heritage Preparatory School, also located in Atlanta.

Joanne enjoys travel, public speaking and emceeing events. Whether she is facilitating a conversation with students on her school’s campus or speaking at a conference, she brings her expertise as an identity coach and confidence catalyst. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Joanne serves on the board of directors for a few non-profit organizations.
Joanne resides in Decatur, GA with her husband and has two sons who graduated from Pace Academy.

Debby Irving

Debby Irving brings to racial justice the perspective of working as a community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to grappling with it.


As general manager of Boston’s Dance Umbrella and First Night, and later as a classroom teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she struggled to make sense of tensions she could feel but not explain in racially mixed settings. In 2009, a graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, gave her the answers she’d been looking for and launched her on a journey of discovery.


Debby now devotes herself to working with white people exploring the impact white skin can have on perception, problem-solving, and engaging in racial justice work. A graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, she holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Simmons College. Her first book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing and how she unpacked her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color. She reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race.

Aram Ferdowsi

By the age of five, Aram Jazab Ferdowsi lived in three continents.  She immigrated to America in 1963, soon to learn about the Civil Rights movement and what it meant to be an immigrant kid at Nashville elementary schools. 

The experience had lasting effects.  She completed her high school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and attended Vanderbilt University, where she became Family Nurse Practitioner. 


Her heart drew her to the subject of one human family and in 1992 was part of a team that helped develop and offer a two year diversity training program to the Nashville Metropolitan Police Force.  She has served on the Interfaith Alliance of Nashville, the Institute for the Healing of Racism, and Clergy and Laity Concerned.  


Presently, Aram offers grassroots programs that enable pre-teens and teenagers to explore the commonality of their human experience and how to be of service to each other and their communities.  She lectures on Iran and the DRC at civic organizations, schools, universities, and clubs.  She serves on the Regional Baha’i Council of the Appalachian states, and these words capture her life’s goal: “The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”


Southeastern Conference on Race and Leadership

in Independent Schools. June 21-23, 2019

Vanderbilt University




Friday, June 21


  • 3:00pm - 4:00pm               Early Check-in Available

  • 4:00pm - 6:00pm               Official Registration: Branscomb (Student Life Center)

  • 6:20 - 7:00pm                   Dinner

  • 7:00pm - 7:15pm               Break / Transition

  • 7:15pm - 7:25pm               Introduction to the Conference 

  • 7:25pm - 7:45pm               Performance

  • 7:45pm - 8:10pm               Plenary Session: Dr. Daryl Scott

  • 8:10pm - 8:20pm               Break / Transition

  • 8:20pm - 9:10pm               Students: Introduction / Ice-Breaker ​​

               ​                               Chaperones: Introduction / Session #1​

  • 9:10pm - 9:15pm               Break / Transition

  • 9:15pm - 10:30pm             Social on the Lawn

  • 10:30 -  10:45pm              Transition to Rooms (Lupton Dorm)

  • 11:30pm                           Lights Out / Security Check

Saturday, June 22

Morning Schedule

  • 7:30am - 8:32am               Breakfast

  • 8:30am - 9:00am               Morning Performance

  • 9:00am - 9:45am               Plenary Session

  • 10:00am - 11:00am           Students: Breakout Session #1

                                              Chaperones: Session #2

  • 11:00am - 11:15am           Break

  • 11:15am - 12:15pm           Students: Breakout Session #2

                                              Chaperones: Session #3

  • 12:15pm - 1:10pm             Lunch

Afternoon Schedule

  • 1:15pm - 2:15pm               Students: Breakout Session #3

                                              Chaperones: Session #4

  • 2:30pm - 3:00pm               Performance: S.C. Says

  • 3:00pm - 5:00pm               Rec Time

    • Movie in Sarratt Cinema

    • Basketball and bowling in Vanderbilt Rec Center

    • Slam poetry with S.C. Says

    • Video game tournaments

Evening Schedule

  • 5:15pm- 6:15pm                Students: Breakout Session #4

                                              Chaperones: Session #5

  • 6:20pm - 7:00pm               Dinner

  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm               Plenary Session: Tim Wise                 

  • 8:00pm - 8:45pm               Post-session discussions

  • 8:45pm - 9:30pm               Break 

  • 9:30pm - 11:30pm             Tear Down The Wall!! (Party)

  • 11:30pm                           Transition to Rooms

  • 12:00am                           Lights Out /  Security Check

Sunday, June 23

  • 7:30am - 8:15am                Breakfast

  • 8:20am - 8:45am                Individual School Meetings: Moving Forward

  • 8:50am - 9:50am                Students: Breakout Session #5

                                               Chaperones: Session #6

  • 9:55am - 10:30am              Regional Meetings​: Moving Forward​

  • 10:30am - 11:00am            Performance and Closing Thank Yous

  • 11:00am - 12:00pm            Check-out and departure



Each school pays a flat registration fee of $1200.00; this fee covers registration,

lodging, and food costs for all students and chaperones. 

A $400.00 deposit is due before February 15, 2019 in order to reserve

your school's spot at the conference. 

The entire $1,200.00 must be paid before the conference begins on June 21, 2019.

For Chaperones: Registration Form

For Chaperones: Protection of Minors Training

For Students: Registration Form

For Students: Download Vanderbilt Rec. Center Waiver

Packing List


All food and lodging for students and chaperones will be in the Lupton dorm on the campus of Vanderbilt University. Most students will sleep two to a room (sharing with someone from their own school), and chaperones will all have their own rooms. Basic linens are provided; please see the packing list  for more information about what to bring.

Vanderbilt security will also patrol the lodging area. See Vanderbilt virtual tour below.