Peer Collective Summit Focuses on Leadership, Belonging, and Well-Being
More than 80 students participated in the second annual L&C Peer Collective Summit, held on March 10 and 11. The event, designed for current and emerging student leaders, featured a keynote speaker, breakout sessions, and numerous opportunities to connect with like-minded peers.
More than 80 Lewis & Clark students participated in the second annual L&C Peer Collective Summit, held on March 10 and 11. The event, designed for current and emerging leaders, serves as an opportunity for student leaders to come together in support of each other. This year’s theme centered on leadership, belonging, and well-being.
“We have many outstanding student leaders on campus, but they don’t always have an opportunity to interact with each other,” said President Robin Holmes-Sullivan, who helped develop the vision for the Peer Collective. “The summit provided dedicated time for them to get together, share stories, gain skills, and support each other as they navigate the ins and outs of being a student leader as well as increasing the campus capacity to support their fellow students.”
The summit began with a Friday evening reception at the Cooley House, the president’s residence. The next day featured a full menu of activities, including breakout sessions, a wellness panel, a student leadership panel, and a closing mixer.
Keynote speaker Princess Sarah Culberson spoke about issues of identity and her biracial roots. After being raised by a white family in West Virginia, she decided to search for her biological parents. Culberson learned that, on her biological father’s side, she’s part of a royal family in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Her story has been covered by international and national media.
Following the keynote address, students attended a variety of breakout sessions, covering topics such as bridging communication styles, developing and accomplishing goals, self-preservation in DEI work, having difficult conversations, and learning how to talk about student leadership experiences when job hunting.
“The session that was most helpful to me was the diversity, equity, and inclusion session with Dr. Janet Steverson,” said Damaris Medina BA ’25, a psychology major from Washington, D.C. (Steverson is the Douglas K. Newell Professor of Teaching Excellence at the law school and former dean of diversity and inclusion at Lewis & Clark.) “She was wonderful, very engaging, and relatable. She provided new insights on what diversity, equity, and inclusion meant, and she gave examples that were relatable to students on a personal level. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a part of our daily lives, not just in an organization or club.”
Over the course of the summit, students learned about how to be change agents of the future; balance being a student leader, student activist, and student; and support each other to build community.
“When I came to Lewis & Clark last year as a transfer student, I wanted to immerse myself in this school as much as possible,” said Stuti Behari BA ’25, a double major in rhetoric and media studies and studio art from Lucknow, India, and a Davis United World College Scholar. “The Peer Collective Summit helped take some ideas and apprehensions I had about the general idea of leadership and ground them. I attended not as a peer leader but as a potential one. Through sessions and conversations with other students who attended, I realized that being a peer leader is more attainable than I imagined.”
The Peer Collective Summit serves as an opportunity for student leaders to come together in support of each other. It’s a collaboration between the Center for Social Change and Community Involvement, Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, and Student Engagement.