Taking action to build agency and belonging among high school students who want to make an impact in their communities
Elias Herrera is in the class of 2022 at The Bishop’s School, and one of the founding planners of RSDS. He leads Bishop’s Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and an on-campus service club that supports and assists the Lucky Duck Foundation, which aims to alleviate suffering within San Diego County’s homeless population. He considers himself an ardent listener of Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop, and Reggae and is infatuated with the way music has influenced social movements around the world.
Through opportunities to represent his school at national and global diversity leadership conferences, such as the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, to developing the first RSDS, he sees strength in numbers and wisdom in collective action. He participates in RSDS to gain a broader understanding of privilege and empowerment, and to become more confident in his identity. He hopes to gain skills on how to become a better student leader by exploring unfamiliar topics of DEIJ through high-level conversations that will grow in the summit.
Katelyn Wang is in the class of 2023 at The Bishop's School. She works as a leader of the East-Asian Student Association to foster a safe-space for students while empowering what makes each person unique. In her free time, she paints. As an artist, Katelyn leads Bishop’s Art Club and inspires students to get involved in their community through creativity. Expression of oneself is important to her, as she values the emotional growth that comes with it. She cares deeply about her community and enjoys forming meaningful connections with others: she believes that compassion will result in progress with many diverse benefits.
Katelyn participates in RSDS to bring that sense of community to the affinity spaces. She hopes to nurture places for vulnerable conversations and support. She embraces the role of solidarity in self-improvement, which is how she hopes to better the conference. She hopes this year’s RSDS will nurture genuine and effective bonds.
Alicia Zhou, is in the class of 2023 at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla. She enjoys writing and learning about history. Alicia is passionate about awareness on various topics such as mental health, race, gender, and sexual identity. When free, she can be found reading or ice skating. Alicia participated in RSDS to create a supportive environment in learning about emerging issues of our world. She hopes that Summit participants will become stronger leaders in their local community to share their enthusiasm and knowledge on supporting minorities and other communities.
Joining the RSDS team this year as the Logistics Committee lead, Kenneth Xiong is in the class of 2023 at The Bishop’s School. He serves as the junior class President, and enjoys learning about computer science and theater tech. In his spare time, he competes in the First Tech Challenge with his team, 14195 Cerulean Centaurs, and plays tennis. He wanted to help with planning to Regional Student Diversity Summit to help build a community that feels comfortable discussing and learning about emerging issues that regard race, religion, gender, and sexual identity. He hopes that everyone who comes to the conference will share the enthusiasm he and the rest of the planning committee have for RSDS.
Sariah Houssain is in the class of 2022 at The Bishop’s School, where she’s studied since sixth grade. Her years at Bishop's have pushed her toward a passion for diversity and equity work through journalistic endeavors like writing for her school paper, The Tower, and through involvement in conferences like the Regional Student Diversity Summit. She’s so excited to see the conversations and connections RSDS sparks for students across the county. Outside of school, Sariah harbors a particular love for Sally Rooney books, Taylor Swift songs, and sunsets over the ocean.
Zayd Aslam, class of 2023, currently attends The Bishop’s School. He serves as the leader in the Muslim Student Association and Service Representative for his Junior class. Currently, Zayd is focused on leading The Bishop’s Anti-Racist Collective, in which the club gathers to discuss and brings it upon themselves to take on real change. He mostly enjoys hearing about the different perspectives that his peers might bring when discussing difficult topics, evident in his leadership in the Global Teens Dialogue. In his free time, Zayd likes to cook, train for track, watch movies, and listen to music (his favorite artist being Khalid).
Zayd brings experience to RSDS, in which he hopes to foster an environment that is safe and emanates inclusivity. Embracing different ideas and perspectives ultimately is at the heart of what he believes in and he hopes that RSDS can provide the opportunity for teenagers to express themselves truly. Zayd looks forward to hearing your voices at this year's RSDS!
David Thompson Jr.
David Thompson, Jr. has spent his career attempting to dismantle systems of racial and social injustice through his lens as a queer, Black, educator, working for non-profits, in higher education and secondary schools.
David is from Philadelphia, PA, where he grew up the son of a retired city police officer and school secretary. He graduated from Lehigh University in 2006 and studied Psychology, Sociology, and Religion Studies. He believes that when people in positions of power have access to the stories and narratives of the most marginalized, they gain the agency to make change that benefits the often ignored.
David resides in Normal Heights with his dog Millie, and is an avid reader and James Baldwin enthusiast. He sees his role on the Board as one more avenue to learn about and uplift others, and looks forward to new ways of expanding Pride’s outreach and mission, while educating people on the organization’s various tools and programming for supporting the region’s intersectional LGBTQIA+ community.