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CPS Day 2023 Recap

At a refreshingly later 9AM start time, CPS students and faculty gathered in the chilly courtyard, huddled together in fuzzy blankets with friends to keep warm, and contorting their bodies to expose them to as much of the limited sunlight they could find. Members of the CPS Day Planning Committee and workshop hosts, who had arrived as early as 7:30 AM to help set up the day’s events, as well as those who were hosting a workshop, donned purple T-shirts, custom ordered for the day, designed by Talia Green.

As per tradition, the CPS community voted on the theme of the day, in order to ensure a topic which many students found both academically and socially stimulating. This year, students chose income inequality and economic justice as the day’s theme. While CPS day officially began at 9AM, March 1st, 2023, the planning for CPS day began at the beginning of the semester, starting with Common Classrooms for the planning committee.

The committee itself was divided into four equally important and distinct parts—the Programming and Outreach committee (responsible for finding the keynote speaker, Nwamaka Agbo, and other guest workshop leaders) the Aesthetics and Design team (responsible for designing and decorating the school with informative and beautiful posters), the Website and Marketing squad (who designed the CPS day website), and, my personal favorite, the Food and Treats team (who made sure all 500 of us were appropriately fed throughout the day). If you know anyone on the CPS planning committee, be sure to thank them for weeks of hard work and planning!

Thus, once all of the planning was set in place, the day began, starting with the keynote speaker, Nwamaka Agbo, CEO of the Kataly Foundation, a restorative economics fund—in essence, a way to shift who in the community owns and controls capital. According to Agbo, “restorative economics leverages community-owned and community-governed projects to bring residents together to create shared prosperity and self-determination and in turn build collective political power.” After her talk, students were given the opportunity to ask Nwamaka questions, and in typical CPS fashion, the questions we asked and answers she provided in some ways proved to be more insightful and inspiring than the talk itself.

After the keynote, 1500 donuts holes and clementines were distributed to hungry students before they made their way over to their first morning workshop, including, but not limited to “Reagan's Policy and Income Inequality,” a nuanced examination of the effects of trickle-down economics in the Reagan era, and a Discussion on Universal Basic Income.

After the first workshop, we took a break for lunch and music, provided by DJ Ryan, as we scarfed down the banh mi sandwiches provided to us by the Food and Treats team. Following lunch, we attended the two afternoon workshops, each an hour long, with some lucky students taking off campus trips to Chinatown or La Cabañas Mexican Grill, which took up both afternoon slots. Personally, I was fortunate to host my very own workshop, discussing Universal Basic Income and Welfare. While we didn’t get to as much of the content as I hoped for, the workshop was filled with lively discussion, debate, and questions, from students and teachers alike (thanks Mr. Tucker!). A huge thanks to everyone who helped plan, organize, making this wonderful experience possible!

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