Marking One Year of Black Lives Matter Debates

Over the last few months, our Global Citizenship Programme, Academic Scholars and the Wellington Community, have been working hard to create an educational and insightful programme of events to engage with the increasingly urgent debates catalysed by the Black Lives Matter response to the death of George Floyd. The week of planned events will take us on a journey through post-colonial perspectives, learning about important 20th century figures from diverse backgrounds and thinking about the future of diversity and inclusion in our community, and beyond.

The main event is the Wellington ‘Hidden Figures’ showcase, which will be a celebration of individuals from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds whose contributions to the advancement of humanity have been suppressed or marginalised. It is inspired by the eponymous 2016 film, which tells the story of the vital role a team of female African American mathematicians played in NASA, during the early years of the U.S. Space program. It will be held on 26 May, exactly a year and a day since the murder of George Floyd.

The Hidden Figures showcase is inspired by the eponymous 2016 film

Back in September 2020 Wellington pupils were called upon to submit proposals for a short film or presentation about a person of colour who has contributed greatly to society but has not received due recognition. Head of English, Estella Gutulan, and Diversity and Inclusion committee co-chair and Deputy Head of College Ned (Pn), selected the finalists from an exciting range of entries produced despite technical and logistical constraints imposed by lockdown and remote learning. Various student groups, from Academic Scholars to those involved in the Global Citizenship Programme, submitted entries.

The finalist showcase will be live streamed to all pupils on 26 May. The Third Form are invited to vote for the winner throughout the event via our live stream voting platform. A panel of staff and pupils will discuss questions raised by this project, including about our engagement in the global conversation about diversity and inclusion – at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter debate. The overall winners will be announced at the end of the screening.

A recording of event will be sent to parents via email.

In addition to the showcase, other activities will take place across the week:

On 24 May, a DukeBox podcast from the EduSpots group will be released discussing Post-Colonial Perspectives. Listen on DukeBox HERE

On 25 May a Hidden Figures omnibus podcast will be available on DukeBox. Our pupils will discuss more important figures such as cricketer and commentator Michael Holding, athlete Jesse Owens, and the contributions of John W Bubbles, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers, Savion Glover and Will Gaines in the tap dancing genre and beyond. Listen on DukeBox HERE

On 27 May, via DukeBox, Ned (Pn) and the Diversity and Inclusion committee will discuss the planned changes to the future of the programme and how we can continue to celebrate the work of these Hidden Figures. Listen on DukeBox HERE

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