Families of color gathering sets goals for future

Melissa Nie, Director of RubicOnline

On Saturday, families of color gathered in the Bigelow Commons to discuss their experiences at the school and how to partner together. Director of Intercultural Life Naomi Taylor helped to facilitate the gathering.

A variety of food from different cultures was offered to guests, who then sat down at tables and socialized with other families.

The event started by having families go around and share a word or phrase that described them. Answers included things like “awesome” and “outdoors.”

I think it’s important for us to build communities like this within SPA, which is a primarily white institution. So we really need to stick together, as people of color.”

— Gabriella Thompson

Activities included a questionnaire about why families chose SPA and their hopes for the future and a book selection featuring intercultural books like “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas.

“One of the things we’re hoping to do is select some books for parent book clubs,” parent Jehanne Zirps said.

There was also a craft table for children, who colored in pumpkins and filled in booklets.

Junior Gabriella Thompson was one of the attendees, coming with her family.

“I’m here because I think it’s important for us to build communities like this within SPA, which is a primarily white institution. So we really need to stick together, as people of color. Hopefully we can make good connections and also create a welcoming environment to attract more students of color,” she said.

The event wrapped up with posters, where parents were instructed to write ideas for affinity groups that they would like to see and be a part of.

“It was a beautiful event, just seeing all of our families come together and the commonality of that–we have love, we have hopes and dreams for our children here at SPA. Everyone made an intentional choice to be here, and the connections are deep. I see people cross-culturally talking,” Taylor said.

There will be a similar event in April for families of color, including dinner and possibly a student performance. Taylor hopes to keep the conversation going throughout the year with the book clubs and parent affinity groups.