History of St. Louis in the Here-and-Now

During the first semester, Upper School 11th-grade students enjoyed the opportunity to attend panel discussions as part of their required History of St. Louis course. MICDS invited business leaders, artists, politicians, physicians, non-profit organizers, and others to talk to the junior class about the St. Louis region, its strengths, its shortcomings, and its potential for growth and improvement. Last week, students were able to listen to guest speakers who returned to campus to host smaller discussion sessions. Four sessions were held where students asked questions and got a deeper understanding of the work these individuals and their organizations are completing in St. Louis. The intimate setting allowed students to ask questions and share what they learned from the panels with each other.

Students attended panel discussions on the following topics:

  • Culture – Colin McLaughlin (Action Arts Collaborative, Playwright)
  • Education – Miranda Walker Jones (Little Bit Foundation, CEO) and Julius Anthony (St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature, President)
  • Health – Stephen Mackin (Mercy Hospital, President & CEO) and Kelly Harris (Health Equity, Opportunity, & Education Laboratory at WashU, Director)
  • Immigration – Lindsay Spencer (Welcome Neighbor, Family Support Coordinator) and Haley Millner (EMC Immigration Law, Lawyer)

Because of the smaller groups and classroom settings, students were able to more intimately engage with the subject matter and the experts at hand, further exploring how culture, education, health, and immigration impact the evolution of a community. This learning, while specific to the history of our own community for this class, can be applied to many metropolitan areas around the United States. After the class, students are better positioned to understand the influences that affect any city in which they may live.

Thank you to all of our guest panelists for spending time with our students and helping them engage more deeply with the St. Louis region!