Superintendent's roundtable features panel discussion on "True Justice" documentary

Posted by Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 2/3/2020 8:00:00 AM

With Black History Month approaching during the month of February, we started the programming early this week in our high schools and at my Superintendent’s Roundtable.


The Roundtable, which includes more than 50 students from middle and high schools throughout Peoria Public Schools, meets with the Superintendent after every half-day in the school calendar to hear from special guest speakers from the community, engage in activities on ways to improve their schools and have their voices be heard.

panel discussion during Superintendent' roundtable

At this week’s Roundtable, we convened a panel that included Sherry Cannon, the program coordinator for ELITE, Laraine Bryson, president of the Tri-County Urban League, Peter Kobak, the HR recruiter for Peoria Public Schools, and Pam Adams, a retired reporter for the Peoria Journal Star. The panel also included Amir Sykes, a junior student at Manual.


The panel engaged in a discussion with students following a screening of “True Justice,” a documentary about attorney Bryan Stevenson and his efforts in eradicating racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. These thoughtful students had difficult – but vital – conversations around inequality, justice and how the past still reverberates in the present.


The Roundtable students absorbed the observations and experiences of the panel and then spoke to the ways they see the themes of the documentary play out in their community and in their own lives. Watching these students and reflecting on their perspectives, it gave me great hope for the future.


More than 2,000 students at our high schools also viewed the documentary this week.


I want to thank the panel for their valuable insights and highly recommend watching the documentary as Black History Month begins this week.