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Ari Zito

The resumption of classes in the Upper School after Spring Break began with an extraordinary chapel by Mr. Ari Zito, Chair of the English Department, on the power of literature to build an understanding of the urgent need for combating racism and injustice. In his chapel, he drew upon the work of writers such as Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and James Baldwin, as well as citing the recent stories shared by All-School Seminar Day visiting author Kwame Alexander.

Mr. Zito noted that his own chapel was inspired by another recent chapel talk, offered by Tunstall Student Council President Frank Mercer '21, who spoke during Black History Month, calling upon teachers to move beyond an exclusive focus on the oppression of Black people, and to expand academic study of artists, thinkers, and historical figures far beyond the traditionally biased American educational norm of white and Eurocentric studies.

Mr. Zito opened his chapel with a an excerpt from “Praise Song for the Day," by poet Elizabeth Alexander: “We encounter each other in words, words / spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed, / words to consider, reconsider."

Read Mr. Zito's chapel talk or watch the video.


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