About BLISS

Founded in 2019, The Black Link of Independent Schools Summit (BLISS), is an initiative to create solidarity, connection, conversation, and friendship between Black students in the New England area. During membership with BLISS, participants would have gained a better understanding of how their schools compare to others in regard to supporting Black students, and how they can improve their own diversity initiatives at their respective schools.

Our 2020-2021 Board

The BLISS Board is a governing group of student leaders from various schools whose aim is to uphold and improve the key values of BLISS in addition to expanding the summit for years to come. The following board members are separated by their immediate title of BLISS Director, Chairperson, or Representative. Selecting each individual's bio will display more information about their role(s) in BLISS.

Directors

Aleema Kelly (she/hers)

Aleema is a director of BLISS in the class of 2022 at the Hotchkiss school. She is originally from Hartford, CT and spends her free time listening to music and reading. At her school, she is a co-head of the West Indies Culture Club, the board of the Black and Hispanic Student Association, the Council of Diversity and Inclusion, and is a Cafe mentor.

Ashley Williams (she/hers)

Ashley is a director of BLISS in the class of 2021 at the Hotchkiss school. She is originally from Kingston, Jamaica and spends her free time singing and listening to music. At her school, she is a co-head of the West Indie Culture Club, a head of the all girls a capela group calliope, on the board of the Black and Hispanic Student Association, and many other organizations/clubs.

Mercy Olagunju

Mercy is a BLISS representative in the class of 2022 at Loomis Chaffee. She is originally from Lagos, Nigeria and spends her free time cooking and hanging out with friends and family.

Chairpersons

Leopold Dorilas

Leopold is a BLISS representative in the class of 2022 at the Hotchkiss School. In his free time, he plays soccer, hockey and lacrosse and also enjoys programming. At his school, he is involved with Mocah(black/brown men affinity group).

Representatives

Edwina Polynice

Edwina is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at the Groton school. She is originally from New Jersey and spends her free time telling stories through writing and dance, specifically step and hip hop.

Megan Miantsoko

Megan is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at the St. Mark's School. She is originally from the Bronx, New York and spends her free time listening to music and dancing. At her school, she is a co-head of the Black Lives Union, an affinity space for students who identify as part of the African diaspora. She is on her schools varsity basketball and crew team, and a member of her school's all-girl A Capella group.

Andrew Harris

Andrew is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at the Middlesex School. He is originally from Lowell, Massachusetts and in his free time he enjoys listening to music, reading, dancing, and anything with art. At his school, he is the co-head of MXFam, the affinity group for Black and Latinx students on campus. Along with being the co-head of Programming Club, Photography Club, and Backgammon Club.


Kaitlyn Taliaferro

Kaitlyn is a BLISS representative in the class of 2022 at the Taft School. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York.

Alana Dowdell

Alana is a BLISS representative and co-editor in chief/founder of the BLAC magazine, in the class of 2023 at the Hotchkiss school. She is originally from Atlanta Georgia and in her free time she enjoys doing math, science, and all forms of art specifically music. At her school she is a student athlete and singer.

Sydney Jean

Sydney is a BLISS representative and co-editor in chief for the BLAC magazine, in the class of 2023 at the Hotchkiss School. She is originally from New York and in her free time she can be found reading a book, trying out some new recipes, or working on photography. She joined the BLISS team and co-founded BLAC because she is passionate about the community of Black students that we reach.


Sydney duKor-Jackson

Sydney is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at NMH. In her free time, she enjoys journalism, social justice, design, and sustainability.

Claire Ngugi

Claire is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at the Middlesex School. In her free time she enjoys playing volleyball, writing, and finding/listening to new music.

Zari Newman

Zari is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at Northfield Mount Hermon. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends, participating in theater performances, reading novels, and writing stories.

Colette Wicks

Colette is a BLISS representative in the class of 2021 at Loomis Chaffee. She is originally from Rye, New York, and in her free time she can be found listening to music, singing, dancing, baking, and being on the water either sailing or windsurfing. At her school, she is a co-president of the multiracial affinity group, a music department leader, lead cellist in orchestra, and a math student tutor.

Corey Plummer

Corey is a BLISS representative in the class of 2022 at Loomis Chaffee. In his free time he enjoys photography, video editing, and math. At his school, he plays soccer and runs track.

Noah Toole

Noah is a BLISS representative in the class of 2022 at the Hill School. He is originally from Morgantown, Pennsylvania and in his free time he enjoys going on long runs and making music. At his school, he is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the Hate Speech Task Force, and is captain of both the varsity track and field team and the varsity soccer team.

Jordyn Smith

Jordyn is a BLISS representative in the class of 2022 at Tabor Academy. She is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and in her free time she likes to spend time with friends and family, listen to music, and watch christmas movies. At her school, she is involved with I Am That Girl (IATG), the IDEA club, and the Black Student Union.