The entire Northwest School community engaged in a host of workshops on Friday, Jan. 13, to celebrate the life, work, and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A group of Northwest seniors organized and worked with Northwest School faculty members to plan the day's events. A highlight of the day was keynote speaker Nikkita Oliver, a Black Lives Matter organizer, artist, and lawyer who works with incarcerated youth.
Nikkita's presentation, which included her spoken word poems, focused on intersectionality, a term which refers to overlapping systems of discrimination or disadvantage. She stressed the importance of all races, genders, and classes uniting to protect disenfranchised peoples throughout the world.
"Justice is just us being just us," Nikkita expressed to the community. "If we want justice to exist, real justice, where everyone has access, opportunity, and equity, then it is really up to us, we the people, all people, to stand up and be for justice."
During her speech, she referred to several powerful quotes by Dr. King including: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that," and, "Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere."
At the beginning of the day, students and faculty dispersed into a variety of workshops throughout the school. Among the 20 workshops offered were Art = Activism, Education as a Civil Right, Indigenous Protests Today, Soil, Sustenance, and Social Justice, and To Be Young, Gifted, Black, and Queer: The Role of Gay Men and Lesbians in the Civil Rights Movement.
Senior Teofila S. was part of the student driven committee that helped plan the entire event.
"It is really important to me and the other students that the school puts forth the effort to explore the thoughts and values of Martin Luther King," says Teofila. "Everything he talked about during the Civil Rights Movement still comes up today, and we need to be active and engaged to remember his impact and legacy."