Last night our son graduated from Minneapolis South High School. We are incredibly proud of him, and also greatly appreciate the experience he was able to have going to a racially and socio-economically diverse school. Here’s the amazing commencement speech delivered via pre-recorded video last night (most of the speaking was pre-recorded, because it wasn’t clear until fairly recently that an in-person ceremony was going to be possible), given by 1999 South High alumna Junauda Petrus-Nasah.
South is a place with great academic and arts opportunities, and the faculty and staff are deeply committed to empowering students to make their voices heard in the world. It’s also a place where one can’t look away from the stark divides in opportunity between students of different races and economic backgrounds, and where there is still a long way to go towards equity.
South is less than a mile from where George Floyd was murdered last year, and just a couple of blocks from the police precinct that burned in the days after. It’s a majority non-white school, and I feel like it’s a place where real change can be fostered, where we don’t shy away from the challenges our society faces.
Anyway, don’t listen to me. Watch the video. It’s excellent.