Insight: Celebrating the Richness of Our Community

By Dr. Ed Castro and Bess McKinney, EICL Co-Coordinators

As we begin our steady march towards the end of the school year, we can and should take a moment to look at events coming our way in the next few weeks. EPS Culture Night, APIDA Heritage Month, Monty Python’s Spamalot, our last EICL Speaker Series presentation from Dr. Bettina Love—all offer us an opportunity to practice the balance of celebrating belonging and identity, moments to see and celebrate each other.

“Culture opens the sense of beauty” and on Friday, May 6 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM all EPS parents/guardians, students, and staff/faculty have a chance to open to all the beauty that exists in our community. This event offers an opportunity to learn about different cultures and the personal connection represented in and around our campus. Over 25 presenters from our community will provide food, visuals, and activities that are connected to their culture. Look for more information about this event in this email!

The end of May also highlights EPS arts performances, from the all-school musical Monty Python’s Spamalot, playing May 19 to 21, to the Arts Showcase on May 25. Both the visual art exhibitions and the music performances (by the orchestra and choir) will represent different identities around our campus. However, if you want to learn about queer theatre…ask Ms. Frystak about it. Students might be excited to learn more and feel compelled to get involved in the arts at EPS.

Throughout May, we will see and hear from the APIDA Club as they present and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This month-long celebration will kick off with an assembly for MS and US students, followed by a month of events and speakers organized and hosted by the APIDA club. Melissa Miranda of Seattle’s award-winning Musang, Elana Lim, and writer and multimedia producer Kristin Leong will all be coming to campus to speak with students throughout May.

May also presents the last opportunity to attend the Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series. On May 5 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Dr. Bettina L. Love will discuss how Hip Hop Civics Ed, when linked to the framework of intersectionality and Abolitionist Teaching, creates a space where Black lives matter and analytic sensibilities are nurtured to engage youth in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion, and justice. Her talk will end by calling for us all not only to teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through innovative and radical civic curriculum, but also to expose youth to the possibilities that come with envisioning a world built on Black joy, creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists. Remember to RSVP at the Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series website.