Student Town Hall Focused on Black Lives Matter & Racial Hatred

On Monday, June 8 we had the opportunity to participate in a virtual town hall meeting focused on the Black Lives Matter movement and racial hatred. We started the discussion by splitting up into smaller groups and talking about the definitions of terms like racism, structural racism, status quo and white privilege. We learned that defining these terms is the first step to educating ourselves about issues of racial injustice and participating in discussions about them. However, we soon came to realize that we could never reduce the centuries of oppression and discrimination faced by the black community to just a simple definition.

We concluded the session by watching some clips of an interview conducted by Hotchkiss School with DeRay Mckesson, a civil rights activist who is a leading voice on the Black Lives Matter movement. This provided us with statistics and laws related to police brutality and impunity and what policies need to be introduced to fight the racism so deeply rooted inside the criminal justice system. We learned about allyship and how we as high schoolers can involve ourselves to support this movement. The first step is to become an ally and extend our sympathies, then move on to become an accomplice by realizing that we have the power to push things in ways that other people don’t. Finally, we can become co-conspirators by asking ourselves “what am I ready to put on the line to support this movement”?

To anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the black experience in America and wants to know how to be a helpful ally, accomplice or even a co-conspirator, we recommend watching his interview.

Through this discussion, we discovered how vast this problem is and quickly concluded that we will never be able to cover every aspect in just an hour and a half. We are looking forward to many more discussions in the future, to broaden our perspectives and to gain a better understanding of the experiences of black people in Canada and around the world.

Not only does there need to be large-scale action taken in response to supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement but we also must educate ourselves on the centuries of oppression faced by people of African descent. We are very grateful to the teachers who put time and effort into organizing this and giving us the opportunity to gain a better perspective. We have a duty to continuously educate ourselves and we encourage everyone to invest time in these issues both over the summer holidays as well as in the next school year, for example by joining the new social justice club.

We ask again, how much are you willing to put on the line?


Written by Savini Goel ‘21 and Mareike Hofstee ’21

The Significance of China @ LCC

DragonDance_02There are currently dozens of lovely, colourful, hand-made Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling of our Junior School corridor.  There is also a 30-foot Chinese Dragon lying in wait on the floor. It was made by students in art class and came to life recently in the children’s enthusiastic Chinese New Year Dragon Dance.

The Chinese New Year began officially on January 31st, the start of 4,712, the Year of the Horse. Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each animal. People born in each animal’s year carry some of that animal’s personality. Those born in the year of the horse (also 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954) are reputed to be cheerful, skillful with money, creatively talented, good at building with their hands, perceptive and witty.

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothing, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to belief can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits. Chinese lanterns adorn temples, and people carry them in evening parades under the light of the full moon.

The highlight of the lantern festival is usually the dragon dance. The dragon, which may stretch as long as 100 feet, is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. The dragon is usually held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colourful beast through the streets. In Canada, the new year is celebrated enthusiastically by Chinese community groups all across the country. Our Junior School students were particularly eager to discover more through an active learning experience, dancing spiritedly through our halls.

In our students’ individual and collective quest to be global citizens, they should each want to know more about major cultural traditions – and Chinese New Year is a good example. As cultural diversity is a core part of the fabric of Canada, we want our students to be active in wanting to know more about a wide spectrum of cultural traditions. By their teen years, they should not just wait for teachers to update them on key cultural information.  We want them to want to know more.

Let’s think a little bit about the Chinese-Canadian community here. One-and-a-half million Canadians are of Chinese heritage, representing almost 5% of the total Canadian population. The numbers of Chinese-Canadians are actually larger in both BC (11%) and Toronto (12%), Canada’s largest city.

Trade between Canada and China has exploded in recent years to a peak of approximately $70 billion last year.  Canada imports mostly electrical, mechanical and manufactured merchandise from China while we export a lot of raw materials to fuel China’s massive economy.

I am pleased that 17 LCC high school students will be travelling to China this March Break with Mr. Vlahogiannis, Ms. Leiter, & Mr. Lee.  They have been gathering weekly to learn more about Chinese history, language and culture. I look forward to hearing from the group when they return in the spring. I’m sure they will be very keen to teach us more about one of the world’s oldest cultures and most vibrant economies. – Christopher Shannon, Headmaster