Calhoun celebrated Black History/Futures Month by reflecting on the past and current contributions of Black people to the world. Upper School students that are a part of DAB (Diversity and Accountability Board) chose this year's theme, Black Excellence: Everyday, Everywhere, recognizing that Black excellence is found in every community and space we enter. We loved having conversations about how to amplify Black voices and experiences in our community. See below for highlights from throughout the month:
Middle School/Upper School Town Hall with Dr. Beverly Tatum
Calhoun partnered with LREI and ECFS to bring together all of our Middle and Upper School communities and welcome Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum for a virtual town hall. Dr. Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is the author of the best-selling book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, now in its 20th-anniversary edition. She spoke with students about her own experience attending and teaching at predominantly white institutions (PWI), in addition to her research on the topic. Dr. Tatum also highlighted the role that educators and schools play in affirming students' identities and building community. The recording is available through the parent/guardian portal.
Middle School/Upper School Assembly, Parent/Guardian Talk with Dr. Rodney Glasgow
Dr. Rodney Glasgow is one of the founding members and now chair of the National Association of Independent School’s annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the head of school at Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland. He joined Middle School and Upper School students in a virtual town hall, where he recounted how the idea of Black excellence was woven throughout his upbringing and how education made a difference in his life.
Dr. Glasgow also spoke with Calhoun parents/guardians in a talk titled The Color of Resilience: Raising Resilient Children in a Racialized World. The evening focused on the ways adults can support all students navigating the racial experiences happening in our times. The recording is available through the parent/guardian portal.
Lower School–Elementary Students of Color Society (SOCS)
Our Lower School–Elementary Students Of Color Society (SOCS), which meets throughout the school year, gathered together each week in February to continue its work of exploring matters of race, ethnicity and identity. SOCS, one of several student affinity groups at Calhoun, helps to create a sense of community. Its goal is to empower students of color to bring their gifts, talents and resources to their Calhoun experience. Students who participate in SOCS led the Lower School-Elementary assembly honoring Black History/Futures Month.
Middle School Black Lives Matter Teach-In
Middle School students participated in a Black Lives Matter Teach-In that focused on Black joy and resistance in new and engaging ways. They learned about everything from film and cuisine to activism and art as they attended sessions like Protest Songs as Poetry, Cooking Up a Storm with Edna Lewis, and Spike Lee and Black Representation in Hollywood.
Lower School–Early Childhood Changemaker Unit
Students across our Lower School–Early Childhood division have been learning about the contributions of individual Black inventors, trailblazers and changemakers. Second graders focused on Nina Simone and her song "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." Students listened to, discussed and performed the song together. They continued their study by selecting two lines from the song that resonated with them, then created and illustrated poems. Students shared what they learned at the Changemakers assembly, which is available to watch on the LS-EC divisional dashboard.
Black History/Futures Month Celebration with Sterling Strings
Our Black History/Futures Month celebration culminated with a special performance for all Calhoun families from Sterling Strings, a New York City-based, diverse group of highly trained professional musicians. The recording is available through the parent/guardian portal.