Social Justice Committee and Environmental Committee Team Up for Clean-Up

Fifteen students from the Social Justice Committee and the Environmental Committee of Parker’s Student Government joined together for a trash pickup in public spaces around Washington Park. The groups came together due to their shared concern for both environmental and racial justice in the city. The groups chose to focus their efforts on this community knowing the South Side of Chicago has one of the highest rates of cancer due to environmental conditions produced by landfills, waste sites and pollution, as well as the community’s structural racism and economic hardship.

The two Upper School committees partnered with Paving the Way, a nonprofit organization that advocates for community resources to increase revitalization and resilience and fosters community outreach and educational forums to support families victimized by trauma and other concerns. In addition to cleaning up the park, where students filled 12 large bags of trash, students learned about Paving the Way’s work to build community and reduce violence.

In addition to working in the community, the Social Justice Committee has created a newsletter to focus on current events, celebrate various groups and educate the Parker community.

“This year I am challenging the committee to live by the motto, ‘engage, educate, include, connect,’” said senior and Social Justice Committee Head Yaleigh Harris. “I felt like a newsletter would be a perfect way to represent this motto as I would be engaging with the Parker community by educating those who read the newsletter with important topics that are great to be conscious of. The newsletter will also make those who often feel invisible feel seen, celebrated and included.”

The Social Justice Committee Newsletter is available here and will continue to be shared in This Week @ Parker.

The work of these two committees shows our students living our mission by showing leadership and impacting our city in positive ways.

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.