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7 Minutes That Will Make You Hopeful About the Future

Video: We asked five students what they thought of Teju Cole's visit and the themes presented in his work.

This year's Cor Unum Week, a time dedicated to having our K–12 community seek deeper understanding among people through dialogue and keynote sessions with guest speakers, was highlighted by a series of talks with Teju Cole and children's book author Grace Lin. 
Mr. Cole, a photographer, art historian, critic, essayist, curator and author of five books, engaged Grade 7–12 students, faculty, parents and alumni in a webinar and then led a small class session with high school students. Following his visit, Sharanya Naik, Studies in Literature & English Language Department Chair and Grade 9 Chair, asked five students to reflect on their experience and the themes presented in his work. Their conversation covers a lot of ground.
In the 7-minute video below, students discuss:

  • What stood out to them about Mr. Cole's talk
  • What it means to be a global citizen
  • How innocence differs from involvement in an era of interconnectivity
  • Why staying silent or neutral can be harmful
  • Their role in fighting back against injustice
  • How Mr. Cole's art builds connections between personal, social and political concepts
  • What gives them hope for the future

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