One School One Book

I had meant to send this out last Friday, but due to operator error (mine) it did not send.

On Friday, September 25, NSHS students and staff experienced an meaningful day of conversation and presentations during our annual One School One Book event featuring The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.

The morning began all together in the field house for an inspirational, if tough, address from Newton resident, author, and Emerson professor Jabari Asim.  Next, students participated in 2 of the following panels (they chose the panels in homeroom last week), which were led by students, faculty, former NSHS grads, and community members.

1. Spoken Word The Newton South poetry club performs and leads a writing workshop, inspired by the ideas in the book.
2. Military Does the military lead to the kind of transformation we see in Wes? Are there risks in relying on military service to transform lives? A panel of people with diverse viewpoints discusses.
3. Hip Hop Wes claims that hip-hop music was for him “a validator. In my struggle to reconcile my two worlds, it was an essential asset.” Why does this music speak to urban America? A panel of local experts discusses role of music in general and hip hop specifically.
4. #blacklivesmatter The neighborhoods Wes wrote about became the focus of a larger modern-day civil rights struggle this spring. What do you need to know about how the themes of the book relate to the world around you in 2015? A panel with diverse backgrounds discusses current events and their import.
5. Crime and punishment Is it fair to lock up the Other Wes Moore for life? Newton South students debate the issue.
6. Sports How do sports help young people grow? They helped for Wes, but don’t always work. Are they as important for South students as they were for Wes? A group who involved with youth athletics discusses.
7. Science Why are some people able to fight through tough situations while others lash out? Does genetics play a role? How does the still developing teenage brain affect the choices they make? A panel of experts discusses.
8. Poverty The book highlights the effects that economics can have. But how do those struggles relate to growing up in Newton in 2015? Panelists discuss the way money and social class affect life at South, in Newton, and in the country as a whole.
9. Black at Newton South Black Newton South graduates discuss their experiences as students of color in our disproportionately white school.
10. Privilege This panel is an interactive examination of privilege. We will do activities that require you to look at yourself and your position in society based on many different factors including race and class. We then examine how privilege helps some while hurting others.   Next, we will explore the role privilege played in the lives of the two Wes Moores. Finally, we will see how those who possess privilege can affect change in society.
11. Q&A w/Keynote Speaker Novelist, Emerson professor, and Newton resident Jabari Asim wrestles with some of the themes in Wes Moore in his work. Ask him questions and engage in a thoughtful discussion during this session.

A huge thank you to all of our students, staff, and many parent and community volunteers who helped make the day such a success.  Also a big thanks to organizers Brian Baron and Julie Sall!