To kick-off the school year at Ruby Bridges, students attended a virtual assembly where they celebrated the school’s opening and students welcomed a surprise visitor - Civil Rights Leader Ruby Bridges, who was one of the first Black children to integrate all-white schools in New Orleans.
Bridges, an activist and author, answered students questions about her childhood and what is different in the world then and now so that they could learn more about what it means to live up to her legacy in their own school and community. The assembly also focused on the school’s mission: Ruby Bridges Elementary is a community of belonging where each member is empowered to engage in meaningful inquiry, exploration, and discovery to become active, compassionate global citizens. To that end, the message that Bridges delivered to students was that they can set the example for adults on how to act appropriately.
Principal Cathi Davis said, “I cannot think of a better way to open this school year as a District deeply focused on racial justice and equity than opening a school where members of our diverse student body see a representation of themselves in their own school namesake; a school where from day one we acknowledge and learn from each other and focus on creating a space of belonging for each member of our community.”
This was the second surprise appearance by Bridges. On August 20, she dropped in on the Ruby Bridges Elementary staff launch to share inspiration as educators and support staff prepared to “open” the school through distance learning. Staff members shared that the emotional experience would remain one of the most meaningful moments in their lives.