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UNIVERSITY LIGGETT SCHOOL \ OUR SCHOOL 

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Student Voices

Student Voices

Students bring African American books to life

To celebrate Black History Month, students in the Upper and Middle School brought to life books that honor and affirm African-Americans in all walks of life. Each week students recorded themselves reading different books, which were shared with the ULS community. Experience these readings here.

"Some are light hearted stories about daily life, some are stories about groundbreakers doing amazing things, and some are about the commitment to fight against racism and injustice," said Kitty Lam, Upper School history teacher.

"Sharing these books is important to us because the multiple stories of Black people in this country are part of what makes us whole and what makes our communities better."

Students attend SDLC

What is SDLC? Besides standing for “Student Diversity Leadership Conference,” it’s an annual opportunity for high school students from across the country and abroad to work with trained adult facilitators to connect for a multiracial, multicultural gathering. Several ULS upper school students were selected in 2020 to attend the SDLC portion. Although being online changed some of the dynamics the students still found it very worthwhile. They spent time learning about identity, community, the benefits of affinity groups, and other ways to be a true ally. One of the skills that was emphasized and they spent time practicing was listening. As one ULS attendee shared, “all of their stories were important, I just had to listen.”

2020 SDLC attendee, junior Isabella Vidal shares, “One of the major concepts that I learned at SDLC was that to do diversity and equity work effectively, we must embrace uncomfortable situations and topics. If we shy away from things that scare us or that are deemed too complicated to talk about, then we’ll never be able to grow as a community and help end the cycle of oppression that many people in the Liggett community face. Growth comes from experiencing and feeling many different emotions which wouldn’t occur if we never allow the community to express themselves and talk about their experiences.”

Read-aloud grants everyone access to Dr. King stories

Students in the Upper and Middle School also honored Dr. Martin Luther King's life and worked with a virtual read-aloud of picture books about Dr. King. The students thought this was a meaningful way to share their message of community, civic engagement, and commitment to social justice.

Dr. King read-aloud

Students present Black music through the decades

Kennedy Marshall ’22 wanted to liven things up and add an interactive component to what Upper School students were learning during Black History Month, so she enlisted the help of fellow students to create a video that looks at Black music through the decades. The video features choir members, students who've performed in school musicals and 4A Club members. Marshall had a list of songs she wanted in the video, but the entire group collaborated on the final selections. “This is music I grew up with. Being able to share music that was a staple in not only my childhood but in my peers made me happy to create this video and share it with the school,” she said.

Detroit Free Press features student documentary

Detroit free press

William Higbie's (‘19) documentary film “Painting the Town” was shown at the Detroit Free Press Film Festival.  

William Higbie has been making home-movies since 4th Grade. Attending film festivals with his family taught him about film’s unique ability to offer windows into the realities of people different from himself.

Born in San Francisco in 2000, William moved to Michigan in 2010 and quickly became intrigued with the story of Detroit’s renewal – watching spray paint become a catalyst for social change. “Painting the Town” was his first documentary.