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  • Writer's pictureThe Lawrencian

LHS Students Making History Yet Again

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Eesha Ali ‘21

In light of the recent events affecting our nation, members of the Unity Program, the Lawrencian team, and the International Alliance invited the student body and administrators, on June 15th, to participate in an LHS virtual current events forum via Zoom. Lina Chihoub, a rising senior and current Lawrencian member, initiated the discussion on race relations with the help of our school’s Library Media Specialist and LHS’s Student Newspaper advisor, Ms. Elliott. The goal was to have an open conversation on issues pertaining to race, justice, and equity. However, students also had the opportunity to share personal experiences with racism, particularly in Lawrence, and express informed opinions on how to create change in our school and the community. In fact, as part of the introduction, when asked why they joined the current event forum, many students responded that they wanted to hear the opinions of their peers and further educate themselves on topics pertaining to race relations.

After the introductory messages, students were put into breakout rooms to thoroughly address specific questions like, “Why is it important to discuss race?”, “What are we fighting for?”, or “How can we get more teachers and students involved?”. Administrators listened as students shared their sincere thoughts and feelings with hopes of proposing new ideas and effective solutions for the improvement of our school and community. Teachers and upperclassmen, who had made efforts in previous years to promote cultural awareness and diversity in Lawrence, encouraged rising seniors to take advantage of these platforms, to continue having progressive conversations with friends and family members, and to raise more awareness. The meeting ended with powerful words of inspiration for the students, from our supportive administrators. Mr. Adam, the school Principal, expressed how proud he was to see students and youth around the world taking charge while Dr. Bariexca, Assistant Principal, shared a motivational quote by James Baldwin, which read, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

After the meeting, I reflected on the discussions that had taken place. I wanted to learn more about racial discrimination and microaggressions prevalent in our society. I wanted to help, as an individual, to promote small yet impactful changes towards a more inclusive school community. I understand that change does not occur overnight and I know we need to continue having honest and open conversations, holding more wide and inclusive forums, and taking small steps to make big changes, to have a lasting impact on LHS.

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