A Lincoln High School student group whose mission is to celebrate the school’s diversity and the stories of its students from around the world recently hosted a renowned author and LPS alum who spoke of her latest book, which tells the stories of Syrian refugees.
The student group Fork in the Road and its advisor, Lincoln High English teacher Chris Maly, organized the March 8 appearance at the school by Wendy Pearlman, a Northwestern University professor, 1992 Lincoln Southeast graduate and author of the new book, “We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria.” She spoke to students and staff in the Ted Sorensen Theatre about her latest book, a collection of first-person accounts from Syrians who have lived through the country’s rebellion, war and refugee crisis.
Pearlman collected these stories - more than 300 - beginning in 2012 until the book’s publication by HarperCollins in 2017. She listened, Pearlman said, and that’s a lesson those in attendance at Lincoln High could take with them.
“I just asked people, ‘What have your lives been like? How have you experienced this conflict?’” Pearlman said. “I think in many ways it’s our responsibility to listen - the least we can do is listen.”
Former Lincoln High student Elizabeth Yost and Maly started Fork in the Road during the 2015-16 school year. Part of the group’s mission was to bring together students from the school’s International Baccalaureate program and its English Language Learner program, some of whom are refugees.
Lincoln High senior Bailey Steinbach is the group’s current president. She said Fork in the Road’s mission has expanded since 2016 in an attempt to reach out to even more students and Lincoln community members.
“It’s really about finding similarities in the differences and appreciating the diversity of our student body - to really try and examine that diversity that we have at Lincoln High and to appreciate it,” Steinbach said. “One thing I really appreciate about being in this organization is that I can have one-on-one conversations with people who are so different than me but then also realize that we have so many similarities.”
Published: March 13, 2018, Updated: March 14, 2018