Over the last year, members of the Pennfield community have been meeting via Zoom to share and reflect on some essential ideas that have been on our minds during the complicated year of 2020; mainly considerations around the Black Lives Matter movement. Inspired by the Diversity, Equity and Justice (DEJ) committee, these parents and grandparents have been curious to explore their own prejudice and privileges and to invest in building connections with each other through literature and discussion. The gatherings remained casual (as spontaneous attendance was always welcome) but always interesting, respectful, and insightful. At each meet-up, the group grew as we welcomed at least one new face into the gathering and read a variety of thought-provoking books: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, How to be an Anti Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, and The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth edited by Wade Hudson.
In the final month together for the 2020-2021 school year, families were encouraged to reflect on the Amanda Gorman poem, The Hill We Climb, at home with their children and compose an artistic response to share with the group. Students at Pennfield simultaneously echoed the activity by creating “found poems” of their own from Ms. Gorman’s text.
We encourage any member of the greater Pennfield community to participate any time next year as this riveting exploration continues.