As people across America celebrate and observe Black History Month, two new events debuted at Parker and were a resounding success. While the community was hard at work in class and at the special Morning Ex events, there was a need for events outside the classroom, and the Parker community delivered.
First, interested students came together for a Pajama Social hosted by the US Students of Color Affinity (SOCA) group. The event provided a space for students to socialize, eat lunch and have a meaningful discussion around an excerpt from Michelle Obama’s documentary, Belonging. “We truly value each and every moment we have with SOCA and supporting them is our main priority,” Upper School and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Rolanda Shepard shared.
Next, 7th through 12th grade students, faculty and staff attended a Black History Month Watch Party in the Kovler Family Library’s Story Studio. Students viewed two documentaries made by students in the Creating Historical Documentaries class that addressed the Black experience in Chicago: “City within a City: Cabrini Green” by seniors Cooper Bruce, Darragh Lawless and Aidan Young and “Reckoning with Kenilworth” by seniors Alex Carlin and Leilani Kulkarni and sophomore Gabby Druger. Following each of these documentaries, the group spent time in discussion and share-outs by the student filmmakers. Click here for to see discussion questions (in addition to resources for further education and action).
These experiences served as a great place for the community to come together for some additional discussion and served as a perfect complement to events occurring around the school.