The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

A Change We Need to See: Latin Assembly Speakers


Henry Pollock 

Managing Editor

Take a look at some of the organizations that are renowned for the public speeches they host. Be it TED Talks, Chicago Ideas Week, or anything in between, they all share one common theme—positive progress. If you were to look for a common theme in Latin assemblies, whatever you found would be far from that. With themes like ‘the American justice system is broken,’ ‘we are all prejudiced,’ or ‘we are failing our immigrants,’ Latin’s assemblies are often looking back, not forward.

Don’t be mistaken; the topics that are being brought up in assemblies need to be discussed. The issues surrounding crime, ethics, prejudice, and discrimination pose a significant problem for us, especially as residents of Chicago. But spending 50 minutes each week lamenting on the problems without offering any solutions will not take us anywhere–not for a student body as aware and capable as the one at Latin. Latin students and faculty have the unique traits of being remarkably well versed in current events, being politically correct, and being ethically developed. As a result, we are a community that should spend less time “learning” about social problems and more time learning how to fix them.

After the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day assembly, a senior, Josh Martin, had an interesting comment, a comment that I think the Latin community needs to take to heart for its assemblies. In his mind, “we spent a lot of time looking at the past” during that assembly. Instead, he suggested we should do as Dr. King did, and look toward the future, toward a better world.

Continuing to prioritize highlighting the failures of society will only lead to more failures. If the Latin community wants to be impactful and dynamic, we should follow the lead of groups like TED Talks and Chicago Ideas Week. We should bring in more speakers that show us how we can change the world, speakers like Wes Moore from last year, or Luis Alberto Urrea from Lit Fest. The moment Latin actively decides to spend less time worrying about the problem and more time focusing on the solution will be the moment our community begins to make a difference.

If you are at all interested in helping improve assemblies, having great speakers for the Latin audience, or sharing your story, contact Henry Pollock at [email protected], in person, or through Facebook. Henry is in the process of creating a Student-Faculty Speakers Bureau for the Latin Upper School. The Bureau’s goal would be to work with clubs and the Administration to provide student input on assemblies, help prepare speakers for the Latin student body, help find dynamic speakers, and share untold stories from members of our own community.


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  • N

    nknoxFeb 18, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I think it is our duty, as younger members of society, to take our history and lessons from the older generations to come up with new ideas and solutions of our own. Helpful solutions can not be created without solid knowledge of the problem.

    • H

      hpollockFeb 21, 2014 at 3:08 am

      I agree completely. However, I’d argue that the Latin community has a solid knowledge of the problems about which we hear and thus should be moving ahead to the challenge of solving said problems.