Bridging the School-Community Divide
For the week of January 29, 2017
Students at Gordon Parks High School are connecting to the Midway community by producing oral history projects.
Guest: Catherine Squires is Professor of Communication Studies and the Director of Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative at the University of Minnesota
Gordon Parks, best known for his photography (he has photographs in the Smithsonian), was also a filmmaker, biographer and novelists. The school, named after Parks, encourages students to continue his legacy by using creativity and community to overcome life’s obstacles. In partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, students documented stories of residents and business owners affected by the Light Rail project; and currently, students are digitally preserving and labeling the archives from Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St. Paul.
You can find the student oral history projects on the impact of the Greenline at: legacy.mnhs.org/transitions/
The community projects help students contextualize history as well as learn to compose and curate historical narratives. Squires thinks more school districts could engage students in neighborhood history projects: “All of our communities have what you might call ‘hidden figures,’” she says, adding that in Minnesota “our story is so diverse and sometimes we don’t tell it in its fullest fruition.”
Professor Squires will be one of the College of Liberal Arts faculty members featured at A Brighter U. The event takes place Saturday, February 18 from 11:30 am – 5:00 pm at the McNamara Alumni Center. More information on the event can be found at: cla.umn.edu/news-events/news/join-us-brighter-u-2017