For many Martin Luther King Day is a day off. At New Hampton, it is a day “on”. Not only are students engaged in classes but they are listening and reflecting on the words and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year has been a year with a strong movement towards social justice in this country, MLK Day felt more important than ever not only to celebrate but to carry through in our everyday work at Husky Nation.
A time to focus
New Hampton engaged in personal reflections this year during our MLK assembly. Students and faculty members courageously shared their perspectives of what this day means to them, how it has impacted their families, and how they carry out the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their everyday lives. Students and faculty listened to community members share about the importance of civic engagement in really meaningful and purposeful ways, a self-reflection of awareness and privilege, as well as a personal reflection on the work that MLK for this community member’s family.
Students met in Advisory groups to further engage in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Students were given the space to think about how the world with be different without the work of MLK and to share any reflections on the importance of the day to them. Advisories then began to look at some documents and speeches from Dr. King and drew out quotations of inspiration.
Moving forward into Black History Month
A few days following the School Meeting, students met in advisory groups again where they designed small posters of chosen quotations. This artwork now on display in the dining hall. It serves as a visual reminder of Dr. King’s work and words of inspiration to help us, as a community, engage every day in making our space a more inclusive one for all.
Student groups, like the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Council for Social Justice and Equity, are now working on programming to continue the momentum from MLK Day into Black History Month. Students will hear from student presenters about influential Black athletes, coaches, and change-makers at school meetings and assemblies.
Honoring his legacy
Martin Luther King Day is important in reminding us as a community to stand up, lead, and press forward to continue to make our world more inclusive and a more forgiving space. This year, it was important for us to not just have a day to honor Dr. King, but to dive into his words and messages and carry them out physically into our spaces and then in our everyday actions as we become more engaged citizens in our community.
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