Shawnee High School hosted a Social Justice Choir, using the guidelines and recommendations set forth from the national organization, Justice Choir. Students and staff members used the lyrics of songs to promote discussion about equality, social justice, perspectives, empathy, and what we can do at Shawnee and in our community.
Participants had the option to sing or simply listen as the choir discusses lyrics to songs such as “The Gift to Sing” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, both from James Weldon Johnson, and “Rise” from Arianne Abela.
Robert Joubert, Shawnee’s Choir Director and Advisor for the Social Justice Choir, explained the group’s origin: “Shawnee Justice Choir grew out of an idea. Theodore Roosevelt said ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.’ With the call to be an Upstander, and need to connect across the hybrid platform, Justice Choir began. We have met to use the gift of music as a vehicle for conversation on the topics of social justice. Our primary focus for this group is not a performance, but to provide a safe place to inspire, challenge thinking, and promote unity both in our own circles and beyond.”