What would Maggie L. Walker do?

During times like these when so many people in our community and around the globe are struggling with illness, financial stress, loneliness, or other challenges, you may feel more motivated than ever to make a difference.

During the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918, our school’s accomplished namesake, Maggie L. Walker, made a difference by speaking out against the unhealthy conditions that African American patients faced in Richmond’s hospitals (which were segregated by race at that time). As Dr. Elizabeth Outka, associate professor at the University of Richmond, shared with journalist Harry Kollatz, Jr.,

“at the height of the Great Influenza here, the indomitable Maggie Walker, an African-American entrepreneur and teacher, led a group to John Marshall High to volunteer. They found that black flu patients were in the windowless basement. Walker and company marched straight to the governor’s mansion to demand assistance. The Baker School — closed due to the pandemic — became available. Outka says, “At Baker, African-American doctors and nurses ran a fantastic emergency hospital.”

– as quoted in “The Big Sick,” Richmond Magazine, 6 July 2018

What might you do to make a difference – in RVA or more broadly – during this pandemic? One thing you can do with your fellow Dragons – without leaving your home – is to participate in Giving Back Together Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5pm each Tuesday tomorrow through June 2nd.

During this time together online, you may transcribe historic documents or write letters/postcards to residents of two care facilities in RVA. To express interest in participating (which doesn’t commit you to attending, but does let me know who to admit from the Zoom waiting room), go to https://bit.ly/givingbacktogether

Online gatherings from your library

Starting this week, the MLWGS Library will be offering opportunities to gather online to share creative work, practice mindfulness, earn community service hours together, and more. For more details about all these opportunities, visit the new Dragons Create group on Schoology.

NOTE: Before clicking on the registration/interest links for activities listed below, please log in to your MLWGS Google account.

Creativity Open Mics (Wednesdays, 5:30 to 7pm)

Dragon creatives from each grade level will have an opportunity to share their work with peers during creativity open mics held online each Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:00pm. All attendees must pre-register. To register or sign up to share your creative work, go to https://bit.ly/creativityopenmicsignup

  • Wednesday, April 29th, 5:30 to 7pm – Class of 2020
  • Wednesday, May 6th, 5:30 to 7pm – Class of 2021
  • Wednesday, May 13th, 5:30 to 7pm – Class of 2023
  • Wednesday, May 20th, 5:30 to 7pm – Class of 2022

Giving Back Together (Tuesdays, 3:30 to 5pm)

Earn community service hours by participating in online gatherings each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 5pm to make handwritten letters/postcards for residents of The Virginia Home and/or to transcribe documents for Virginia Memory – your choice. Sign up to express interest in Giving Back Together: https://bit.ly/givingbacktogether

Mindfulness for Dragons (Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:30am to Noon)

Mindfulness practices can help create a sense of peace and calm – and spark creativity – during this unpredictable time. Students and faculty are invited. Sign up to express interest in practicing mindfulness together: https://bit.ly/mindfulness4dragons

  • Mindfulness for Writers, 11:30am to Noon on Wednesdays (with Ms. D)
  • Midday Mindfulness, 11:30am to Noon on Thursdays (with Ms. D and Coach Hawkins)

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Ms DeGroat.