New group engages in anti-racism work through discussion, protest


Amanda Cassel

On June 1, members of the Laboratory Schools community protested police brutality on the Midway. Members of the Families for Antiracism group are involved with Monday marches on the Midway to get the Lab community involved in fighting for their rights.

William Tan, Reporter

With over 140 families from both the Laboratory Schools and Hyde Park, the new group Families for Antiracism is dedicated to creating an inclusive community where families can come together and advocate for anti-racism.

“We hope to build a strong coalition with the affinity groups that are at the Lab School, the parent, student and educator affinity groups, to really have this united front around anti-racism and thinking critically about how we can contribute to make things at Lab even better than they are now,” Bonnie Kang, Lab parent and member of the group, said.

The group has already held two open forum meetings in the winter, and members are using the feedback to refine future discussions and ways to connect. 

For instance, many families wanted spaces for dialogue, so members of FAR are looking to hold lunchtime or evening chats or book discussions on literature related to racial issues. 

“We have a group of families who are interested in holding the Lab School accountable for the diversity action plan that they’ve put together. That’s really beautiful,” said Sam Ozik, Lab parent and founding member of the group.

FAR is also engaging in protest. Members staged a sit-in after the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Little Village boy shot by police March 29. 

Others are involved with the Monday marches on the Midway, protests organized by Lab art teacher Allison Beaulieu to get the Lab community involved in fighting for their rights. The marches begin every Monday at 3:30 p.m. at the corner of 60th Street and Stony Island Avenue.

“As FAR members, we want to be supportive of [the Monday marches], and we’ve been out with her. It’s basically a walk along the Midway and all the way back,” said Ms. Ozik.

As FAR moves forward in planning for bigger and more inclusive events, it hopes to encourage more Lab families to join its cause.

Ms. Ozik said, “We’d love to have as many families involved as possible… we want families to feel they can be active and join a planning committee to help us do something really big and exciting.”