Photo by Sophie Storbeck
The Diversity Club drove to Wyandotte High School last Thursday to meet with author Greg Neri. East’s club met with Wyandotte’s to discuss Neri’s graphic novel, “Yummy”, about an 11-year-old Chicago gang member who accidentally shoots a teenage girl.
“I think it was a good book and offered a lot of insight, but it was also kind of sad that such young people found themselves in a really terrible situation,” freshman Mila Hanova said.
The group started the day with ice breakers, which revealed both the similarities and differences between the two schools by comparing their views of themselves to the views of others. One opening activity was a Princeton power circle, where students stepped forward into the circle if a certain statement held true to them, such as “My parents are living together but not married” or “I will be the first in my family to graduate high school.” This activity demonstrated the similarities between the two schools, as equal amounts of students from both schools stepped forward for each statement.
This led into Neri’s speech and book signings, then a writing prompt. The students’ writings at each field trip will be bound into a book at the end of the year. Students left at the end of the day with the questions, Who is telling your story? If not you, how are they telling it?
Play to hear author Greg Neri discuss the main character, Yummy:
“The questions that come out of [the book] are like privilege, and is the boy who did it innocent because of his environment? Who do you blame?” club co-sponsor David Muhammad said of the discussion topics over the book.
Besides marking the start of the year’s events for Diversity Club, this field trip was also a reunion for returning members, some of whom greeted their Wyandotte friends with hugs and friendly catching-up banter. Remembering the close friendships they made with Wyandotte students last year (senior Lauren Cole was asked to prom by a Wyandotte student; senior Mia Rios attended Wyandotte prom), the students are looking forward to the connections they’ll make again.
“It was nice getting to talk to people and getting to overlook those differences our schools had in order to come together and just be people,” senior Lillian Taylor said. “I made a lot of good friends [today]. I got a lot of people’s Snapchats.”
This field trip was the first of three author meet-and-greets the club will be attending with Wyandotte this year. Next up in October is a meeting with the author of novel about police brutality and Latino Youth Day at UMKC.