Black History Month Speaker Series

Parish Episcopal School celebrated Black History Month with special guest speakers at the Midway Campus. The theme for the inaugural event was “Achievements Within Our Community” and featured presentations during Middle and Upper School chapel. The successful event was organized by Parish parents Andrea Christie, Karen Willis, Judy Davis and Dorothy Jones. The parent volunteers spent many hours putting together a dynamic list of professionals to come and share their stories with students. Special thanks to all of the speakers: Kiyah Willis ’17, Mandi Powe Dillon ’09, Walter Sutton Jr., Erin Patton and Jennifer Stimpson. Watch the video on Vimeo

Mandi Powe and BHM organizers


People of Parish

Lower School Librarian Becky Maher was inspired to begin the People of Parish Project after following the Humans of New York blog. Our community is filled with people with intriguing stories. Take a look.

alli-pic   Alli’s “Gotcha Day”

There’s a lot happening in February.  My birthday is February 13. February 14 is Valentine’s Day.  February 3 is our 2nd grade Wax Museum, and it is also my “Gotcha Day.”

“Gotcha Day” is the day that I was adopted.  It’s the day we celebrate the uniting of the people who became our family. My mom, dad and I celebrate my “Gotcha Day” every year.  Sometime we go to rise.  It’s a soufflé place.  This year my dad and I will celebrate at the Father/Daughter Dance.  It is a very special day for our family!

summer-pic  Summer on Moving

I was born here in Dallas, but my family moved to England near Windsor when I was just two years old.  I was nervous when I found out we were moving back to Texas.  I knew I’d miss my friends. If you have a best friend, it’s hard to leave them.  I was in kindergarten.  My school in England was kind of different from Parish.  We learned cursive from the start and we had to dress for PE.  I struggled to get my tights on and off by myself.  We got two new dogs when we got here to make a home in Texas.

Moving to another country can be difficult, but now I LOVE it here.  I have made a lot of new friends.  I love visiting friends and family in England and I love when they come to visit me here.  If you find that you need to move, you should have a leaving party like I did.   You might have some scary times, but new friends are everywhere.

max   Max runs a mile

My name is Max.  My name means “the greatest.”  I have a diagnosis called “periventricular leukomalacia,” so my brain was rewired.  I have my own website –  My life story is there.

I have run a mile on the treadmill.  My treadmill is in the workout room at my house.  I got on and pushed the START button.  It started slow and got faster and faster.  I was thinking that I was ready for this.  After a while, I started to feel tired when I was running.  I wondered, “Am I done yet?”  My dad was videoing me.  I didn’t see the numbers on the treadmill, but my dad did.  I felt GREAT when I finished!  When I was a baby, my doctor said that I’d never walk.  What he said was futile because I proved him wrong.

liam-pic-1      Liam speaks Portuguese 

My mom and dad learned to speak Portuguese when they lived in Brazil.  They taught me how to speak Portuguese, too.  I was born in Texas.  I speak English and Portuguese at home.  We go to Brazil sometimes to visit my grandparents.  I speak to them in Portuguese.  It’s fun to know two languages.  I hope that I learn to speak Spanish, too!

 Hello                        Oi                       Hola


dadyo-picParish hosted the Dallas Area Diversity Youth Organization on November 29, 2016. The organization’s member schools –  Jesuit, Hockaday, St. Mark’s, Greenhill, Alcuin, Ursuline, and ESD – take turns hosting monthly educational and fellowship meetings.

The focal activity at Parish’s DADYO meeting replicated NPR’s StoryCorps #Whoweare project, a series of real-life stories told by everyday Americans. Dallas students who attended shared about themselves.  StoryCorps created “these animated videos to build bridges of understanding between people and help us recognize our shared humanity,” and that’s exactly what happened at our event.

Produced with Upworthy with support from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and Delta Air Lines, the hope of the campaign is to enhance the importance of identity and how it contributes to the way we interact with other people.  The #Whoweare project  asks every American to step up and participate not just by sharing these stories with others, but also by reaching out to someone different from them to ask about where they come from, what they care about, and who they love. Asking questions and listening intently to other’s  stories is a powerful force for good, because when we take the time to listen to each other, we see the beauty, poetry and grace hiding in plain sight all around us.

Bryan Stevenson at SMU and NAIS SDLC



Last Fall, Parish teachers and students heard Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy.  Teachers attended the 2016 SMU Reads free lecture at at McFarlin Auditorium. He was also the keynote speaker at the National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity Leadership Conference that six of our Upper School students attended in December.

Bryan Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 in Montgomery, Alabama, as a young lawyer recently graduated from Harvard Law School. As executive director, he continues to lead a legal staff dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need, the poor and the wrongly condemned. One of his first cases was to defend Walter McMillian, who was sentenced to die for a highly publicized Alabama murder he insisted he didn’t commit. In Just Mercy, Stevenson describes how the case transformed his understanding of mercy and justice.


Students and teachers attending NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference and Adult People of Color Conference

Click to see student produced video from the national conference