Note: this post is part of a series about Noble’s preparation for the upcoming school year.
Today, Noble launched the 2020 school year with our annual kick-off event. In years past we’ve gathered all 1,400+ staff along with Noble parents and supporters in the Roosevelt Theatre Auditorium, but this year was different, as we all gathered on Zoom instead. Although we were not together in the same space, the energy was still high and the message was clear, “2020 is NOT cancelled,” stated Constance Jones, Noble’s CEO. In her remarks, she reminded Noble that we have precious time with our students to impact their lives in so many ways.
The theme for Kick-Off 2020 was “Get In Good Trouble”, honoring the mantra of U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights Activist John Lewis. It was a moment to both acknowledge Noble’s past and look forward to the future. Chief Equity Officer, Jennifer Reid Davis said, “reconciliation must be part of our process, we can not heal what we do not first name.” Panels featuring many members of the Noble community including students, staff members, teachers, a Noble parent, one of Noble’s Principals, Noble’s President, and Chief Education Officer, provided many perspectives that highlighted Noble’s struggles over the years and what hopes there are for our future. “Though it is not an easy conversation to have, it is one that we must have, we must reconcile our past so that the pathway for our future is clear, stated Davis.
Kick-Off Panel Discussion
“It’s imperative that as we drive change that we ensure that they [our students and families] are a part of those conversations. Changing policies and practices without naming and sharing our Noble historical context with our students and families only continues to perpetuate all that we aim to dismantle.” – Brenda Cora, a Noble alum and Chief of Schools.
In closing, Jones reminded us of the great John Lewis as a young man in college when he boarded a bus and refused to sit in the back. She urged Noble staff that they didn’t have to be John Lewis, but that they teach [the next] John Lewis with courage and commitment to help our students get into good trouble of their own and change the fiber of our city.
Check out the videos below of Kick-Off 2020. Here’s to an amazing school year!
Kick-Off 2020: Opening Video
Kick-Off 2020: Opening CEO Remarks
Kick-Off 2020: Noble Leader Panel Discussion
Kick-Off 2020: DEI Team Remarks
Kick-Off 2020: Noble Student, Staff, and Parent Panel Discussion
Kick-Off 2020: Closing Remarks and Video
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