On February 26, Forsyth's Diversity and Inclusivity Committee hosted nearly 70 faculty, staff, parents, teachers from other ISSL schools, neighbors and friends in the Rand Center for a documentary and discussion featuring Bob Hansman, Associate Professor of Architecture at Washington University. The documentary, Bob's Tour: Understanding What We See, provided great insight into the historic patterns that have caused racial divide and inequity in St. Louis. The film provided a portrait of the "divided city" of St. Louis as Bob Hansman takes his students on a bus tour. The documentary was produced by Washington University grad, Jun Bae. The film also highlighted the relationship that developed between Hansman and his adopted son, Javon, whom he met twenty years ago when he started the non-profit organization, City Faces. Today, Bob and his son, Javon, work with Washington University students in partnership with St. Louis Housing Authority to provide a safe haven and a strong peer-based environment for children living in Clinton-Peabody Public Housing.
We were honored that Bob Hansman was available to speak to the audience directly after the screening of the documentary. He was joined by Dr. Carlos Diaz-Granados, Principal at Pond Elementary in Rockwood, Heather Navarro, St. Louis City Alderwoman for Ward 28, and Mike Jones, founder of Jones Strategic Advisory and former senior executive for the St. Louis County Executive and Mayor of St. Louis City. The panel shared their reaction to the documentary and took questions from the audience including: What would make you hopeful about our community moving forward regarding the racial divide? Should we be focusing on celebrating the positives about African American (and other races) rather than focusing on negative narratives in history? The panel had both thoughtful and thought-provoking answers.
Thank you to all who attended and dropped off new school supplies and art materials for City Faces.