With a renewed sense of urgency sparked by recent national events, the Stevenson community observed Martin Luther King Day with a multi-day virtual event that honored the Civil Rights leader in the broad context of his fight for human rights. 

The event’s gathering point was a website that featured videos, speeches, poetry, and a playlist. Additionally, students in the lower and middle divisions were invited to select their favorite MLK quotes which were compiled into an inspiring YouTube Video.

Yaa Bokaye ‘07, a certified personal trainer and nutrition and dietetics certificate candidate, provided a powerful keynote address. Yaa described her path from homelessness to Northwestern University. In the context of launching her own business, she honed in on the critical lessons that she learned from her parents and Dr. King: that education is crucial; that generosity must be incorporated into everyday life; and that there’s always a way forward, even when it seems you’ve lost your way. 

On Tuesday, January 19 (the day after MLK Day and the launch of the webpage), Stevenson community members in the upper division participated in Zoom room breakout sessions facilitated by teachers, students, alums, and others. Community members dropped in on one or more sessions–inspired by Dr. King and his legacy–to listen, ask questions, and share thoughts.  

Stevenson’s director of equity and inclusion Dr. Mashadi Matabane explains, “We recognize that while Dr. King was pivotal to the civil rights movement as Black-led activism, Dr. King also clearly fought for human rights for all around the world–as demonstrated by his stance against the Vietnam War. We cannot water down the Blackness of Dr. King and his work–or lose, forget, or underplay the critical importance of the non-Black folks who participated in the movement and shared his goal of building a safe, inclusive, and equitable society for all.” 

You can check out the whole of Stevenson’s MLK ‘21 page to listen to the keynote, browse through the curated media, and learn more about how the School community marked the holiday this year, by clicking here