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History Comes Alive in Morning Meetings

Upper School senior class officers have a long tradition of conducting the morning meeting held before the start of class each day. The months of February and March also saw two clubs, the Feminist Club and the Diversity Alliance Club assume leadership roles in those morning meetings.
Since Congress's 1987 declaration to designate March as Women’s History Month, each year since there has been a Presidential Proclamation to honor the extraordinary achievements of women. In honor of this students and faculty were spotted sporting purple lapel ribbons throughout the month of March because purple is the color that has historically been associated with efforts to achieve gender equality.

Sanford’s Feminist Club members, under the guidance of faculty advisor Brianna Smale, made the purple lapel pins and distributed them during the first morning meeting in March. “We wanted to show pride for feminism and Women’s History Month, and we thought these ribbons would help us achieve our goals and show that we all stand in unity,” shared club member Ally Colgan '20. Additionally, each day a faculty or student representative shared the story of a remarkable female who has influenced or inspired them. From international authors to famed television stars to groundbreaking athletes, everyone had the opportunity to learn and reflect on the accomplishments of a variety of women, including: Helen Keller, Maria Izquierdo, Angela James, and Lucille Ball.

The students in the Diversity Alliance Club, along with faculty advisors Laurence Birkett and Stan Waterman, set the stage for this type of sharing by sponsoring similar talks during morning meetings in February, which has been nationally designated as Black History Month since 1976. Michael Annon '19, president of the Diversity Alliance Club, asked for student and faculty volunteers to research an important African American and share his or her story with the gathering. While some names, like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, were readily known by most students, others were not. “I really appreciated that we had an opportunity to widen our horizons by being introduced to a wide variety of largely unknown—yet vitally important—African Americans. I also think it is important that we continue to learn about influential women during Women’s History Month,” said Annon. From activists to artists to actors, students learned about the contributions of people such as Joel Springam, Robert Smalls, and Isabel Wilkerson.

Certainly, all the remarkable men and women highlighted by Sanford students and faculty would be happy to know that their accomplishments are still being lauded and providing inspiration for the next generation. Congratulations to all participants for making morning meetings meaningful and informative during these two very important months of celebration.
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