Alan Page visits BSM to speak with students for Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, BSM hosted many speakers who touched on different aspects of diversity and identity. To finish the month, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and NFL player Mr. Alan Page visited to discuss diversity, education, and the importance of hard work.


Keenan Schember

Page discussed issues related to diversity and education with a group of about 100 students.

BSM welcomed former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and NFL player Mr. Alan Page to speak to a small group of students. The event was a facet of BSM’s Black History Month celebrations, and was coordinated on Monday, February 22 by Interim Junior High Principal Ms. Claire Shea.

Shea felt that Page was a relevant, intuitive speaker to have at BSM because of his accomplishments as an African American in the areas of professional football, law and the Minnesota Supreme Court, as well as his passion for education. “He went through Catholic education and completed really incredible achievements for African Americans throughout his entire career [and] in multiple careers,” Shea said.

Page spoke to a group of a little over 100 students about civil rights, the importance of education, and his inspirations and motivation for all he has accomplished in his lifetime. Education, however, was his main topic of conversation. “[Students should] strive for excellence, work hard, enjoy the process, and recognize that education gives you choices, gives you opportunities to make a difference not only in your own life, but in the lives of others,” Page said.

Strive for excellence and recognize that education gives you opportunities to make a difference not only in your own life, but in the lives of others,

— Page said.

Drawing examples from his own experiences in law school, the NFL, and from his time as a Justice, Page directly addressed his audience of 7th through 12th grade students by expressing how important their education is. He spoke about the possibility for change in every person, as long as they are able to set goals and stay motivated to reach those goals.“[From Page], I took away that the greatest adversity makes the strongest person,” senior Lilly Johnson said.

Students in attendance asked Page questions regarding his views on issues such as Black Lives Matter, the selection of a new Supreme Court Justice, and the rising costs of college tuition. He used his own successes and failures to identify with every student. “I thought that his accomplishments and how he was able to do a broad spectrum of things was very interesting, and being able to do that coming from a place where everyone was a factory worker was even more impressive…especially being an African American man and being able to have all of these opportunities,” junior Morgan Bettin-Coleman said.

The students, faculty and Shea were all impressed with the success of Page’s visit. Though Page is not a typical group speaker, his personal anecdotes were able to reach every student in a different aspect of their life. “I thought he was fantastic. Being a Justice he was very calculated in what he wanted to say, and I loved his focus on long-term goals. I think you can apply that to everything,” Shea said.

Page’s presentation was the culminating speaker in BSM’s Black History Month events. He was preceded by Teran Buford from the University of St. Thomas and Kevin Warren, COO of the Minnesota Vikings.