The Wokest Locker in the Upper School

Alice Bolandhemat Co-Editor-in-Chief While touring prospective families, a roman ambassador is tasked with showcasing all that Latin has to offer: the rigorous academics, the competitive athletics, and the progressive arts.  The latter requires the least amount of explanation, since the student-created artwork speaks for itself. It’s in gallery two. It covers the fourth-floor hallways. And to the surprise of many prospective families, it also engulfs the crimson-colored lockers. Signs typically read “submit to Ecco!” or “Kill it at state this weekend!” Most recently, freshman Kazi Stanton-Thomas decided to use their locker as a platform for activism. They have created two “locker murals” that display messages pertaining to transgender awareness and are currently in the process of creating a third. “The idea started when President Trump set the military ban [on transgender individuals]. More recently, a trans person was killed in Chicago only one neighborhood away from where I live,” said Stanton-Thomas. Kazi sees these events as an opportunity to spark a conversation that they believe is long overdue. Kazi’s first mural (pictured below) conveys the importance of recognizing one’s chosen pronouns. It reads “it costs nothing to respect.” To summarize and elaborate on their message, Kazi says that “you can’t tell what or who someone is just by looking at them. You should ask, and once they answer, you shouldn’t question their humanity.” For Kazi and many others, art and activism go hand-in-hand. “I hear a lot of insensitive conversations in the halls every day. I thought that creating murals on my locker could potentially make people more aware.” And it has. After Kazi completing their first mural, the LAW Instagram account posted a photo of it, which received several comments in support of Kazi’s message. Additionally, they have received many compliments from classmates.  “I am thrilled to see that the Latin community welcomes students to turn activism into artistic beauty,” said junior Rose Branson. Kazi initially used a dry-erase marker as their medium but was later told that they couldn’t simply draw on their locker as it could potentially be damaged. This, however, did not discourage them in the slightest. “I didn’t want to stop making [murals], so I used paper and a marker for my second one, and I think it worked out well.” In the future, Kazi hopes to create more murals concerning human rights. While passing through the third-floor hallway, consider viewing Kazi’s current locker mural in the freshman locker bay. “I am open to suggestions!” concluded Stanton-Thomas.  ]]>