Every Voice Matters

Posted by Mary Hendra on October 1, 2013

wordle from hs summit

This weekend, we had the immense privilege of hosting students, parents, teachers, and administrators from fifteen schools in Facing History's Los Angeles Partnership Schools Network for our second annual high school summit, "Every Voice Matters." The wordle above is what they shared of their "takeaways" from the day.

We put this day on for our partnership schools, but I always leave the day as energized as they do!

Imagine if you will...

  • Parents having their voices heard, solicited, and valued as a school thinks about its entire community,
  • Administrators participating as learners side-by-side with their students and faculty,
  • Teachers having "given up their Saturday" to connect with other teachers, guide their students' efforts, and reflect on their own role in shaping classroom and school culture.
  • Every school with students who are thinking about how to bring this back to their own campuses, stepping up to lead change in their school's culture--all this and waking up early on a Saturday to spend the day with their teachers and parents!

tweets from hs summitWe had partnered with POV and StoryCorps for a special screening of "Listening is an Act of Love." The first-ever animated special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Listening Is an Act of Love features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project. Each story reflects universal themes of identity, family, choices and positive participation, and is a wonderful springboard to our daylong summit's exploration of ways each of us has a voice and can contribute to making our school campuses and communities more civil and compassionate. "Listening is an Act of Love" will premiere as part of the POV series on most PBS stations November 28, 2013. Click here for more information.

Listening is an act of love. One of our participants commented on the huge need we have for people to know us. Another asked, "what happens when people see and hear a different story?" Stories have the power to create a new norm, to reshape our identities and aspirations. I treasure the stories I heard even in this one day, and look forward to the storytelling and listening sure to take place at our schools!DSC_0157-1


If you'd like to listen to another's story, StoryCorps will be at the California African American Museum October 23rd to November 16th. Once open, reservations will be taken online (click here).

If you were at this summit day, we invite you to share your thoughts from the day!

Topics: Safe Schools, Bullying, Los Angeles, Social and Emotional Learning

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