Black History Month Celebrations

Margaret Paul
Dear families,
Last week the lower school classes set a beautiful example for all of us in the LREI community by leading an assembly that centered diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work across the school. During this assembly, the 2nd graders sang a song titled “What can one little person do?” that highlighted the importance of each person’s role in caring for communities.

Building from this theme of personal responsibility and engagement, we want to share some programming that has occurred in the high school in the past few weeks, as well as some upcoming events that will continue this theme . . .

A few weeks ago a facilitator from Callen-Lorde Community Health Center led a workshop for all high school students to deepen our knowledge around TGNB inclusion, after which students discussed ways to ensure belonging and safety for all of our students.

Following this workshop, a group of juniors and seniors participated in a workshop regarding healthy relationships, led by Nalicia Willams from the One Love Foundation. The goal of this workshop was to train upperclassmen to be equipped to speak with younger peers about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. We are so thrilled to be partnering with One Love, and to have the support of Nalicia as we help our students grow in this area.

Today, we were so honored to join together with our peer schools Calhoun and Fieldston for a webinar with Dr. Beverly Tatum, renowned author and scholar. Dr. Tatum has worked for several decades to help young people work through the central question about identity, to navigate the space between who we feel we are and who the world says we are. Her work has shown that doing so, reckoning with who we are, is an important process on the way toward better personal mental health, greater academic success, and finding a sense of belonging. Oni T, Class of 2022, represented LREI as a student moderator for this session.

This week Marion Holley Smith, our Dean of Students, has been working with students on a community building activity that centers the idea that “To know us is to love us, to love us is to know us.” Teachers have worked together to identify adjectives that describe special qualities in each student, and these have been written on skin-toned hearts to be displayed in the lobby. By connecting with our hearts, we can truly see and know one another, and Marion’s leadership in helping students see and know one another is critical this year. 

And there is much more to come! Next week is Spirit Week, an annual tradition for us, and then we will continue to celebrate Black History Month by honoring black voices both known in the world and in our own personal lives when our Black Student Union leads our HS assembly. And finally, there is a bulletin board in the front lobby right now, inviting students to write the names of black family members, friends, teachers, mentors, etc. who have made a difference in their lives . . . continuing the theme set by our wonderful 2nd graders last week: 
What can one little person do? What can one little me or you do?
What can one little person do to help this world go 'round?
One can help another one, and together we can get the job done.
What can one little person do to help this world?
Harriet Tubman was alone on that darkened road to freedom,
but she couldn't leave her people far behind.
Moses stretched out her hand, and she led them to the freedom land,
for she knew that she had justice on her side.
When Sojourner Truth was freed, she got down on her knees,
and she prayed to God to help her on her way
With her voice and with her might, she fought for what was right,
for she knew that she had justice on her side.
Rosa Parks sat on the bus, and the driver said, "you must
move to the back of the bus, or be thrown in jail"
But she stayed and stood her ground, and she brought that old law down,
for she knew that she had justice on her side.
Brother Martin Luther King told the world "I have a dream!"
and he led this country's fight for human rights
We must fight for liberty, until all of us are free,
and we'll know that we have justice on our side.

Recent Lower School News

List of 5 news stories.

Recent Middle School News

Recent High School News

List of 5 news stories.

Little Red School House
and Elisabeth Irwin High School

LREI. Powered By Questions.

List of 1 items.

  • Since 1921