Community, Diversity, Events

Northwest Community Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Northwest School community celebrated the life, work and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by engaging in a variety of workshops and presentations on Friday, Jan. 12.

The senior class and members of the Social Justice Squad Interest Group organized the annual school-wide event. Gyasi Ross, an author, speaker, and storyteller from the Blackfeet Nation, opened the day as the keynote speaker with an impassioned plea to the students: “We are all stronger when we work together.”

“This is the modern day manifesto of Dr. King’s vision,” Gyasi told the students. “We take daily inventory of who we are. Who is not speaking? Who is not at this conversation? Who doesn’t get the opportunity?”

After Gyasi’s speech, students dispersed for workshops. Students led many of the 20 workshops. Members of the Social Justice Squad presented on systemic racism in the school system, and another workshop forced the question: What’s negative about positive stereotypes? Other workshops included “Making Noise at the Border,” “Everyday Islamophobia,” and “Soil, Sustenance, and Social Justice.” After the workshops, students gathered in the gym to witness a performance from local hip-hop artist Nathan Nzanga.

The goal of the day is to unite the community in thoughtful conversations about civil rights in American history, with a focus on what students can do to contribute to the legacy of Dr. King. The theme of the day echoed what Gyasi told the community: “Everybody talks about equity but they don’t attach action to it. Without that second piece, the dream is pointless.”