Hidden Figures: Students Honor MLK Jr Day

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students took part in a multi-faceted, mixed-media educational experience dedicated to understanding this day and the reasons behind its existence. Starting off with the day’s morning assembly students listened as members of the school’s Black Affinity group spoke on the subject of Hidden Figures throughout history at the local, national, and international levels. Watch the Assembly here.

Following this, students participated in a viewing of the film Hidden Figures (2016), a film that follows the true story of African-American mathematicians Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan; the women who in 1962 calculated the launch and landing trajectories of astronaut John Glenn. Throughout the presentation of the film, students attended three break-out sessions designed and led by faculty groups to educate them on concepts related to the message of the film.  

In the Third Form, students worked with faculty members to discuss leadership by working in groups to understand diversity through art. Students worked with rule-governed patterns to create illustrations that illustrate the diversity of viewpoints and interpretations of rules and concepts.  

Older students broke up into small groups with three faculty members leading the curriculum. Each group chose a different topic around the overarching theme. One Fifth Form group discussed the contrast between the Space Race and the American Civil Rights movement through a collaborative multimedia presentation. Students illustrated a timeline demonstrating how these two major movements in American History coincided. One group of Sixth Form students under the leadership of Ms. Pope, Dr. Cyr-Mutty, and Mrs. Rose looked at racial biases in sports broadcasting. They studied examples of broadcasters describing the same action for both White and African-American basketball players. Through their work,  students understood how racial biases could be perpetuated in modern-day media. Other groups looked at the film Hidden Figures to see the relevance of microaggressions in the film and study their historical pertinence in the social system when the film takes place. See pictures from many of the day’s sessions here

Making sure we are aware of the Hidden Figures in our society, hidden because of their race, gender, or any number of characteristics that could mark them as “different”, is essential. Using Dr. King’s teachings to bring some of these figures to the foreground for students was the larger goal of the day. 
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