Diversity & Inclusion
“The Shawnee Mission East Diversity and Inclusion Committee values and respects the diversity found in the East family. We understand that diversity includes people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, socio-economic classes, religious and spiritual traditions, ages, and abilities. We are committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding, harmony, and positive relationships, and equally committed to raising the awareness of the powerful and beautiful diversity that exists within our community.”
Race Project KC was established by the Johnson County Library, and is an annual immersive social justice initiative focused on the role of racism in the history of the United States and, more specifically, the Kansas City Area. It is designed for students in grades 9-12 in the KC metro area. The project gives students opportunities to learn how racism impacts us today through unique monthly events. See more @ raceprojectkc.com
Race Project Update: March 2020
Race Project is gearing up for our 2nd student workshop of the semester. We have 12 schools participating in 3 unique student cohorts. Cohort 1 is Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, and Sumner Academy. Cohort 2 is Blue Valley West, Piper High School, Shawnee Mission North, and Shawnee Mission West. Cohort 3 is JC Harmon, Ewing Marion Kauffman School, Shawnee Mission East, and Wyandotte High School.
The second workshop is being held at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Students will be exploring the new exhibit Gordon Parks X Muhammad Ali. Students will be talking about representation in the arts and how we tell and shape each other’s stories. Students have been asked to consider what personal story they would like to tell a partner, and what images they would like to share. Students will work with local artist Patricia Bordallo Dibilbox to make a spread as part of a collective zine telling their partner’s story.
More about Muhammad Ali and Gordon Parks
- The Nelson-Atkins’ exhibition website has a description of the exhibition and a 1-min video.
- A brief biography of Gordon Parks from the Gordon Parks Foundation website
- A 5-min video introduction to Muhammad Ali’s life and legend
- 6-min PBS video introduction to Gordon Parks’s life and work
- Jan. 2020 KCUR radio interview with Harry Edwards, activist and author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete re. Ali, intersections of sports, race and activism, Kaepernick
- Taking a Knee Not the First Time Athletes Have Protested Social Injustice” (ABC News)
- How Football, Protest, and Politics Have Always Mixed (History.com)
Events of Interest
- Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? A conversation with author Beverly Daniel Tatum 6:30pm Tuesday, March 10 at the Kansas City Public Library - Plaza Library
- Gordon Parks films showing at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- Concerned Student 1950 film showing 6:30pm Thursday, June 25 at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center
Links of Interest
- Can Art Amend History? (TedTalk by Titus Kaphar)
- Here Is Why The Diversity And Inclusion Needle Is Not Moving (Forbes)
- Report: Where Parents Have More Choice, Schools Appear To Become More Segregated (WBUR Boston)
- White Teachers Need Anti-Racist Therapy (Education Week)
- The racial dynamics between American women are flipped in a disorienting photo series (Quartz)