Upper School students in the LGBTQ+ Pride Committee recently orchestrated a week’s worth of activities on campus to educate and improve the visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in our school community and beyond.
Education was the focus of the first day of Pride Week, as Upper School Pride Committee members shared an info-packed Morning Ex on the history of the Pride Movement in the U.S. Presenters outlined the historical and political heroes, milestones and legislation affecting LGBTQ+ people in America from the 1920s to the present. After fielding question from the audience, they shared plans for the week and encouraged all to wear specific colors of the Pride flag each day to visually show their support for this initiative.
The following day, a group of students gathered in the Kovler Family Library’s Story Studio for a screening of the film How to Survive a Plague, a historical documentary following the story of the ACT UP and TAG coalitions, whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition in the 1980s.
During the common lunch break on the next two days, students gathered again in the library for a continued sense of belonging and conversation as they combined their efforts and talents to produce a piece of string art to remember the experience. On the final day of the week, Upper School history teacher Andy Bigelow led a teach-in on queer laws in the past three years to bring those in attendance up to speed on the current state of affairs for LGBTQ+ people in our country.
Events like this week that the LGBTQ+ Pride Committee developed display how our students are connecting reflection with action as they become living symbols of Parker’s mission. This committee of student leaders directed and encouraged their peers to consciously act with empathy, highlighting their own courage and compassion in the process and leaving the community with a deep, enriching and thought-provoking learning experience.