The following remarks were given by co-founder and President of Loop Capital Markets Albert R. Grace, Jr., the co-chair of Facing History and Ourselves' 21st Annual Benefit Dinner and Choosing to Participate Kick-Off. He spoke about the importance of the Facing History's upcoming Choosing to Participate initiative and how the community will benefit from such an initiative.
Good evening and welcome to the Annual Benefit Dinner for Facing History and Ourselves and the official launch of Facing History’sChoosing to Participate Exhibition coming in the Fall of 2012.
My name is Albert R. Grace Jr., and I am the co-founder and President of Loop Capital Markets. It is my pleasure to be here tonight to represent my business partner and friend for 40 years, and this event’s co-chair, Mr. Jim Reynolds.
This evening, Chicago marks 21 years of Facing History and Ourselves. During that time, more than 3,000 educators have used Facing History resources in 725 public, religious, and independent schools in Chicago. 2 million students every year are in classrooms with Facing History teachers across the globe.
Every teacher receives the training, tools, and ongoing support necessary to bring complex lessons of history to middle school and high school students. Facing History helps teachers develop the informed, compassionate, active, global citizens so critical to a robust democracy. On a personal note, Facing History is an intersection of important influences on my life. Long ago, I was a history major and my mother was a teacher in Chicago Public Schools.
This evening we are kicking off an exciting exhibition called Choosing to Participate which will be at the Harold Washington Library for three months this Fall.
The Choosing to Participate exhibition extends the Facing History classroom. It brings the lessons of history to a broader audience through interactive media and remarkable stories. These stories engage our thinking about issues such as inclusion and exclusion, how to respond to hate groups, and the impact of fear on our actions. We explore choices that individuals made in moments of crisis for their communities and explore the consequences of those decisions. Later tonight we will look at one of these stories together.
One of the installations in Choosing to Participate focuses on the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, 55 years ago. The Little Rock Nine, high school students who wanted only to improve their education, stood up to the racism and bigotry that was a part of our country’s educational system at the time.
Their tough choices made history that continues to unfold. And maybe it was their choices that in some ways made it possible, just three months ago, for Loop Capital Markets to open a new office, in Little Rock.
And so for many reasons I am honored to be among the special guests for this evening’s kick-off celebration of Choosing to Participate.
In my role as Facing History’s newest advocate, I call upon every person in this room to join us as we wrestle with tough questions tonight, and make the choice to support and participate in the singular opportunities offered by the Choosing to Participate exhibition next Fall. Thank you.
And now I’d like to introduce you to Marc Skvirsky, Vice President & Chief Program Officer at Facing History and Ourselves.