Davis Academy middle-schoolers joined other students from the Atlanta area at the world premiere of “Slur” at the Alliance Theatre on Friday, Nov. 11, marking Davis’ third annual day of learning with the Alliance.

The play was written by and for middle school students to address issues of race, religion and identity in seventh grade. The show opens with “Jihadist” spray-painted across the locker of a Muslim student.

After the performance, Davis’ director of Jewish and Hebrew studies, Rabbi Micah Lapidus, moderated a panel discussion among Munir Meghjani, the CEO of Helping Organizations and People Everywhere, who recently traveled to Israel with American Jewish Committee; Nicole Moore, the education manager for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights; Sherry Frank, the former longtime AJC regional director; and Thomas Pinckney of the Alliance.

The students received a message of encouragement and empowerment, then explored what they learned with exercises such as writing poems and creating masks back at Davis.

“I witnessed vulnerability, honesty, intentional listening and much more. Days like these reinforce one of the Davis Academy’s core beliefs: that learning is a disposition, not something that takes place only in a classroom, and that the best learning influences the way students view the world and the choices that they make,” Rabbi Lapidus said.