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Our History

SGORR was initiated in 1983 by a group of concerned Shaker Heights High School students. When founding teachers Marcia Jaffe and Zachary Green met with this small cohort of students, their goal was to create a space in which interracial friendships would be celebrated and maintained. These SGORR pioneers noted with disappointment the disintegration of diverse friendships as students entered their middle school years and sought to change this trend by educating elementary school students about race and human relations. Over the years, SGORR has grown from a group of fewer than fifteen students to a membership of over 250, the largest student club at Shaker Heights High School. Though the faces have changed and many students have come and gone, SGORR’s mission has remained constant: to celebrate and teach about diversity and human connections across all boundaries of difference.

SGORR Timeline

1983: A small cohort of SHHS students initiated SGORR with the help of founding advisors Marcia Jaffe and Zachary Green, and students began implementing diversity workshops in the district’s sixth grade classrooms.

1998: SGORR began visiting Shaker’s fourth grade classrooms, in addition to visiting the district’s sixth grade classrooms. The SGORR curriculum grew as a result.

2002: Marcia Jaffe was presented with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Human Relations Award by the Human Rights Commission of the City of Shaker Heights, largely due to her commitment to diversity through SGORR.

2010: SGORR welcomed Halle Bauer as a co-facilitator and group advisor.

2011: SGORR students published the first edition of The Vernacular, a magazine consisting of submissions from students and community members about human relations.

2011: Marcia Jaffe retired after 28 years of advising SGORR. Jaffe remains active and involved as a consultant to the group.
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