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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Webbies gather for third community read discussion

Students+joined+Dr.+Derik+Smith+on+Zoom+to+discuss+the+book%2C+How+to+be+an+Antiracist.
Laura Haushalter
Students joined Dr. Derik Smith on Zoom to discuss the book, “How to be an Antiracist.”

More than 90 students and faculty gathered on Zoom on Monday, December 7th for the third discussion of Webb’s first ever community read: How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. The discussion featured Dr. Derik Smith, Associate Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College, as a guest speaker. 

Before the discussion, students read up to chapter 13 of How to be an Antiracist and came prepared to discuss. The session saw the highest turnout since the first community read discussion in September. 

“It has to do with timing, advertisement,” said John Choi, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator. “But people are hungry to get involved in these conversations… we have a small population of people who want to get involved in these conversations from the get-go… it’s something people have a lot of passion around.” 

For the better part of the session, students listened to Dr. Derik Smith speak about his experiences working with incarcerated individuals, his own encounters with racism, as well as working with Mr. Kendi at the University of Albany. Professor Smith credited Mr. Kendi with introducing the idea of antiracism into the cultural zeitgeist.  

“If we just keep it in neutral,” Professor Smith said, “then what we are submitting to is satisfaction with a racist reality… the only way to overcome that is not to declare ourselves ‘not racist’ … but to commit ourselves to anti-racism.” 

“I thought that his experience as a professor in university as well as prison was very insightful to how education can create spaces of growth and empowerment,” Abbie Oh Arroyo (‘21) said.  

Afterwards, students were placed in breakout rooms with faculty facilitators to discuss what stood out to them in the reading, as well as what it means for a school like Webb to be antiracist and the steps that we can take in our individual lives to pursue antiracism.  

“Chapter 13 of How to be an Antiracist dealt with creating spaces to create affinity,” Abbie said, “and share stories so we can build and empathetic environment and stand in solidarity with those who do not share our privileges.” 

This discussion was the last opportunity for students to voluntarily discuss the thoughts they had while reading How to be an Antiracist. Once the community read is finished, a culminating, school-wide event is scheduled to take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  

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About the Contributors
Laura Haushalter, Public Editor
Enthusiastic, positive, determined, and athletic, Laura Haushalter (‘21) uses her passionate attitude to take on many leadership roles: captain of the VWS cross-country and swimming teams; Student Government spirit commissioner; and the Public Editor for the WCC. As the Public Editor, Laura oversees all the social media accounts for the WCC. In addition to normal Editor-in-Chief  responsibilities, she helps the WCC gain more publicity, making sure Webbies stay informed and updated about the latest articles. Laura is extremely passionate about environmental justice and climate change, which is why her favorite class she has taken at Webb is Honors Global Society and Sustainability. In her free time, you can catch Laura watching Friends or Veep, listening to AJR, Beach House, and Cardi B, or running on Thompson Creek Trail. Her goals this year are to make the WCC’s social media accounts more active, and make the most of her last year at Webb.
Keigan McCullagh, Editor of News
After using her summer to create a small business selling custom embroidery, Keigan McCullagh (‘21) is coming back to school as a senior. Keigan has been with the Webb Canyon Chronicle for two years, improving and learning throughout her time. She fondly remembers getting her first article publisheand reflects on her growth as a writer, and she is now the Editor of News for the WCC this year. She is also the Co-President of Webb’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Club and Vice President of our USITT chapter. Her astrological sign is Libra. She loves to learn about history. You can always find her playing the guitar or listening to music, her favorite bands being Fleetwood Mac and the Lumineers. Besides music, she loves her dog Lily. Also, Keigan’s favorite food is chicken nuggets. Keigan’s goal for the WCC this year is to report more breaking news in hope of shedding light on important subjects the Webb community should know about.  She would also like to encourage everyone to go vote for the 2020 election! 

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