SISTERS Assembly Honors Trailblazers
On Friday, May 22, SISTERS lead an inspired all-school assembly honoring trailblazers Pam Brooks '70 (pictured top, center), the first student of color to graduate from Winsor, and her peers, who paved the way for other students of color - and for the evolution of the Winsor community. "We are Winsor because of you," was the refrain from the group of students who prepared remarks and exuded gratitude for Ms. Brooks and Pamela Parks McLaurin '71, who not only blazed a trail as a student alongside Ms. Brooks and others, but who transformed Winsor into the vibrant, diverse community it is today during her 18-year tenure as Winsor's Director of Admission. (The students will honor Ms. McLaurin in a separate ceremony as she begins her retirement this July.)
After sharing reflections, Ms. Brooks answered questions, shedding light on her experience.
The daughter of activist parents fully entrenched in the civil rights movement, she said, "My world view was pretty much mapped for me given the nature of my family’s involvement. Bringing that world view to Winsor was my task. To help those young women, and those teachers, and those administrators. That was the task that I readily assumed...Spaces like Winsor had to change, and I was committed to that change."
Reveling in the changes in the Winsor of today, she encouraged the students to embrace their identities; to "read those books that speak to you...and play your music...[and] remember that these are the words that give us promise, and hope, and joy. They affirm 'I am understood.'" And adding, "Be good to one another. Look each other eye to eye, and say you love one another." The assembly closed with moving performances by members of SISTERS and Winsor's Rock Band.
Read the full story of Winsor's first students of color, Bold and Unfraid, beautifully written by trailblazer Patricia Elam Walker '71, in the Spring 2020 Bulletin.