Episode 8 of Culture Matters
Eli and Hudson are two middle schoolers with sharp minds and a deep concern about what is happening around them. They care about society, global warming, energy efficiency, and equity for all. It matters to them how we handle systemic racism and crime or how much fossil fuel we use for even things like solar panels. They want to be challenged in the classroom and have ideas on how to make things better. What if we listened more to children like Eli and Hudson? Could giving them a voice help us address problems and help them feel hope and agency for now and the future?
Its a time we are all grappling with. And for educators, parents, and students there are challenges. But with challenges come opportunities. In a conversation held over zoom, middle schoolers Eli and Hudson share their observations about what is going on in school. They also have opinions about broader more global issues. They would like to have a voice in these matters and hope that leaders would take time to listen to their concerns, ideas, and what they are experiencing – especially now.
Hudson is 11 and in sixth grade. He loves his two dogs, is a history buff, and does lots of individual research online. His father, born and raised in the United states, has a Taiwanese background. His mother is from Canada.
Eli, is 10 and in fifth grade. He plays lots of sports and has many other interests: statistics, music, and art. His father, raised in Malden, has Haitian parents. His mother is from Germany.
As a step toward honoring the wish for more of a voice with leaders, Eli and Hudson met with the Mayor of Malden, Gary Christenson one week after the interview. The boys asked questions about where the city gets energy; how energy efficient are we being; are we considering reducing use of fossil fuel? They also asked about the status of domestic violence and how the city is dealing with systemic racism. They shared their thoughts about school and what could make it better as well as ideas for what might help the community be more connected.
Mayor of Malden, Gary Christenson gave the boys a tour of the new and beautiful City Hall. He also showed them the Instructions of the Inhabitants of Malden, Massachusetts to their Representatives in Congress, a document drafted in 1776, affirming Malden’s support for independence.
A Culture Matters in Malden Episode, a podcast that offers culture as a lens to explore themes relevant to the Malden community.
Host: Ose Schwab
Editor: Jon Guzman
Producer: Ose Schwab
Recorded by Zoom
Date: October 3, 2020
Recorded: September 26, 2020
Thank you, by composer Kasper Au (9 years old when composed this piece)
Design from a picture taken In the Mayor’s office at City Hall Malden