This coming week at LWHS, we once again pause our regular schedule to participate in two days of programming dedicated to exploring social justice and our role in helping to make a more just world.
Formerly known as Walk with a Purpose, the yearly event is now called the Sam Mihara Day of Justice. Sam graduated from LWHS in 1951. During World War II, Sam and his family were sent to a Japanese Internment Camp in Wyoming. After a career in aerospace engineering, Sam now travels the country to speak about his experience during the war and ways we can fight hate and oppression. This year, Sam will return to Lick-Wilmerding to speak with the students and lead a workshop on “Mass Imprisonment: Then and Now,” where he explores the connections between the detention centers for undocumented immigrants and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.
There are countless other workshops being offered by faculty and outside presenters. Importantly, all students who attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, the White Privilege Conference, and the Creating Change Conference are also presenting workshops for the ninth and tenth grade students as way to bring back into the school what they learned at these conferences. Additionally, we welcome Favianna Rodriguez to Lick-Wilmerding as one of the keynote speakers for the event. You can learn more about Ms. Rodriguez here
, as well as see the full schedule for the two days.
This year, the second day is dedicated to exploring social justice through the arts. Whether learning about another culture through participating in a “Brazilian Carnaval Dance” workshop or learning about how art directly impacts equity through such workshops as “Murals—Addressing Issues of Oppression and Inequality Through Public Art,” we will ask students to tap their creativity to explore their role in engaging with the world to improve it for everyone. The seniors will be off campus on the second day to attend the Senior Transitions Retreat, a day dedicated to helping seniors think through the challenges they may face as they head off to college and other endeavors next year. The morning session is a panel of students from Stanford who will talk about intimacy, dating, and relationships on campus through their own experiences, and in the afternoon, the seniors will choose one of a variety of workshops that address various aspects of living on one’s own next year.
These two days are central to our mission and speak to our commitment to public purpose and educating the head, heart, and hands of our students. We know that profound learning can happen outside of a classroom, and that when we approach these opportunities with an open mind and heart, we can benefit greatly from the wisdom of others. Some students may be challenged in their beliefs, and we can help them sit with discomfort, while also assuring them that they are good people who are part of the solution to complex problems surrounding social justice.
I thank the staff of The Center for Civic Engagement and all of the faculty and staff and student presenters for their tremendous work in organizing these two days of learning and exploration. It is fitting that we launch into Spring Break from a place of reflection and care for others, and my hope is that some time away from school will provide further opportunities to absorb what we learn these two days.Eric Temple
Head of School