Lise's Lens: May 5, 2022

This week Lise features an insightful blog post by English Department Chair Jeannette Lee-Parikh, reflections on this week's Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage assembly, and notes on the recent CSW Reunion.

  • As English Department Chair Jeannette Lee-Parikh recently shared in an email to our faculty and staff, every year since 2019, two co-founders of #DisruptTexts, Dr. Kim Parker, and Tricia Ebvaria, host #31DaysIBPOC 2022, which is a month-long movement in May that features the voices of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color in education. Yesterday, May 4, Jeannette herself was featured and I am so proud. Check out her blog post: "Discomfort, Empathy, and Risk-Taking: Where Learning Begins." I loved the following example she shares from her Mod 5 “African Literature” course:

    “In an African literature class that I just finished teaching, I chose to screen a Nollywood (Nigerian film industry) rom-com. This genre of movie primarily focuses on the lives of the wealthy or upper-middle-class and socially connected. I wanted students to see another side of sub-Saharan Africa that only the visual can make tangible. They didn’t realize they have access to these films because Netflix has a licensing agreement with a significant number of Nollywood films. There were many camera pans of Lagos with its skyscrapers, cars, and keke napep (tricycle). I wanted to pivot them from an immediate identification of Africa with sad poverty and political instability to a more complex and nuanced understanding of Africans as fully realized people with a complete range of human emotions, like themselves, navigating vast wealth and class inequities, as they are in the United States."


  • Yesterday during assembly we recognized Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month by hearing from students in CSW’s Asian Heritage Affinity group, who gave an excellent presentation walking through the representation of Asian Americans in pop culture over time, highlighting specific examples in sports, literature, film, and more. It was an informative, well-organized, thoughtful presentation and I really enjoyed listening to what our students had to say.

    We also welcomed guest speaker Grace Talusan, the author of the award-winning memoir, The Body Papers. Grace read us excerpts from her book and shared some of her experiences growing up as an Asian-American woman in the United States. She also invited community members in the audience to share the names of Asian-American authors they had read and enjoyed, and I was really proud to hear our students and faculty offering up the names of a diverse array of authors across genres whom they’ve encountered in classes at CSW or in their own pleasure reading. It was clear that when Grace usually asks audiences that question, people struggle to come up with names of authors, and our students certainly did not! It was a really proud moment, and I could tell our students’ enthusiasm also brought Grace a lot of hope and joy, and that was really special. 
  • As some of you may know, we hosted our annual Reunion Weekend on April 29-30, and I am still thinking about how amazing it was to get to meet and interact with so many CSW alumni/ae from a wide range of years. This was a special Reunion for me, because it was the very first in-person reunion we have hosted since I came on as head of school. While CSW alumni/ae are a diverse group with a variety of interests, it was clear that they were all united and forever connected by their CSW relationships, and that was very moving to witness. 

We had the privilege of celebrating the incredible career of our own Marilyn DelDonno over the reunion weekend. I just love the joy that emanates from this photo. 


The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.