Wheeler School in Providence, RI, excludes white students from meeting celebrity guest


Wheeler School is not new to sorting and separating students by race but this past week was the first time parents can remember students being excluded from hearing a guest speaker based on their skin color.

In a Feb. 7, 2022 all students in grades 6, 7 and 8 received an email about actor and author Karyn Parsons coming to meet and talk with students of color. The email explicitly stated that only those who “identify as a student of color or multiracial” could join.

Parsons, best known for her role as Hilary Banks on NBC’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” read from her book Saving the Day and answered questions about her other books. According to reports from students and parents, white students at the middle school level were not allowed to attend. (At the lower school, this racial discrimination did not occur and the visit with Parsons was open to students of all races.)

Will Smith and Hilary Banks on the set of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”