Jessica Stovall

The 10-part documentary series, America to Me, which took a probing look at the racial inequities at Oak Park and River Forest High School, has inspired one of the film’s subjects to create an entire college course. 

Jessica Stovall, the OPRF teacher who is currently on leave from the high school to pursue a doctorate at Stanford University, created a curriculum series called “America Never was America to Me: Race and Equity in U.S. Public Schools,” WBEZ recently reported. 

Stovall’s attempts to forge a meaningful relationship with former OPRF student Ke’shawn Kumsa was among the documentary’s dramatic touchpoints — as was her failed attempts to establish a racial equity curriculum at OPRF. Many observers felt that the failure to implement Stovall’s course reflected poorly on school administrators. Now Stovall is seeing her ideas flourish elsewhere. 

“People are having really intense and important conversations about race and equity,” Stovall told WBEZ. “So I thought, why not bring it to an institution like Stanford University that’s at the forefront of some of these conversations about race and schools?”

Michael Romain 

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