During our Notre Dame Time in October, staff and students reflected on life as a journey. The Principal reminded the students of their continuing journey at Notre Dame quoting Nelson Mandela; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Achievement tutors Lauren Carry and Jess Berry described the virtues needed to when undertaking a journey, especially a spiritual pilgrimage like the one they led to Lourdes, how for every journey perseverance and compassion are needed. Finally Queen Tojoba a member of the student executive with achievement tutor Daneill Whyles, led a reflection on the life journey of Thea Bowman as a woman of colour in the United States who became a religious sister who fought for racial justice and respect for all.
A poem by U6 student Yemi Longe was read that echoed the theme of the assembly- that life is a journey both educational and spiritual and Notre Dame as a community comes together to support and celebrate all who study and work here in their own journey.
I do not have to say this
But I do because I’m proud
My skin is dark
And I say this with a smile
Though it is quite unfortunate
That this is still a thing
And it’s still alive today
My skin tells a story of a people
Who have been criticised
And mostly pushed to the side
But let me tell you this
We are more than Black History Month
We are more than Black Lives Matter
Our history is more than that of slavery
And we more than deserve a space in society
But beyond all, they are beautiful
And through everything they thrive
Their beauty is beyond measures
From their melanin to their manes
They come in all shades and colours
And yet we are all the same
I am not at all radical
Neither am I a brute
For I am here to speak of excellence
Excellence and the truth
In sacred steps, we journey with a purpose clear,
To holy lands, our souls and hearts draw near
Through trials and tests, our faith does strengthen,
In pilgrimage, our spirits find a path to reckon
Just as in pilgrimage, where all are equal in devotion,
Racial equality seeks a world without division.
We journey towards a future where skin color won't define,
A world where unity and justice brightly shine.
My skin tells a story
Of great people of my race
Barrack Obama, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King
And as the great Naomi Campbell once said
Who is a legend by the way
“The rise of the black race is not a trend, but we are here to stay”.