Martin Luther King Jr. Conference

On January 25 Prep students participated in an annual forum that honors the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and others who fought for justice and civil rights. We take this opportunity each year to bring to Prep community members who provide services and/or who have expertise in areas related to service, justice, and diversity. Jim Leonard says it well; “We create a school within a school for a day.”  

Upper School students attended two of fourteen presentations by volunteers from the Santa Fe community on topics including“Homeless Youth,”  “Immigration,” “Public Health,” and“Mutual Obligations for Justice & Equality,” among others. Two-hundred fifteen Upper School students registered online and selected their preferred topics, and we did our best to make sure every student was placed in two of their five choices. Middle School students particapated in two conferences, “Food Justice” and“Human Rights/Freedom of Speech”.

Some of the comments from students (and video clips below):

“This session completely opened my eyes! I was moved to tears and will never forget this. It made me think that for my graduation I want to have people send money to the food bank instead of giving me gifts. Thank you for sharing this information.” (Food Justice)

“I think acknowledging the fact that many of us (maybe subconsciously), participate in the negative feedback loop of judgement and slander was profound and it was important to discuss ways to disengage from and prevent this.”  (Slander and Hate Among Girls)

“One particular moment that sticks out to me is all the variables that take part in the change of climate.  I also found it interesting that we have studied climate change since the 1800’s.” (Disproportionate Societal Impact of Climate Change)

“I liked this presentation because it was more than just about nuclear weapons. It was about morals, human reactions, and rationality.
(Nuclear Challenges for Generation Possible)

 It was a fantastic experience hearing from agencies and organizations in the Santa Fe community about the work they do to meet the needs of our community and beyond. We thank the many presenters who shared their experience and knowledge. Essential to discussions was an understanding that not everyone may agree with any or all of the issues presented, and that the goal was to deepen our collective awareness of social justice issues.
 
A special shout out to Prep parent and documentary filmmaker Jody Schiliro for providing a clip from her recently completed documentary film, “The Obama Years: The Power of Words.”The documentary will air beginning February 27 on the Smithsonian Channel.

 

– Claire Romero, Director of Multicultural Life