In a school wide, live-streamed assembly this morning to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presenters reviewed what has transpired in America over the past year: continuing racial disparities in the U.S., the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, the active rejection of racist symbolism, and the embrace of antiracist practices.
"We hope that at the end of this assembly you will leave empowered to stand against injustice," says Middle School Dean and Diversity Coordinator Adrian Barnes. "Both at school and wherever life may take you."
Student speakers reflected on how Dr. King—who would have been 92 this year—might see these events were he still alive. They reviewed the progress that has been made, and recognized that there is still much work to be done.
- "I'd wager that Dr. King would still be out in the streets marching," says Imani '21, "because the promise of America is still not yet a reality for all."
- "Dr. King would have most certainly been on the streets chanting 'No Justice, No Peace' and probably wearing a Black Lives Matter mask," says Solomon '26.
- Julia '25 points out, "There is a right side to this history, and each of us should ask what side we're standing on."
- "Taking a stand is not easy, but it's time to get started," says Manny '21 after he presented strategies to be antiracist and stand up for change.
"It is easy to be depressed, sad, even angry about the things that still exist in America...things that we wish were only part of our history, not our present," concludes Director of Equity and Community Engagement Jason Mundy.
As Monday is a holiday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, Mr. Mundy asks students to consider their legacy. "Will you be a change agent? Will you build people up? Will you speak out against bad behavior no matter the cost? Or will you be a bystander condoning with your silence?"
Many members of the KDS community typically continue our celebration of MLK Day by gathering for the Denver Marade. Those events are being held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic (see details here).
To see many other upcoming events with a focus on diversity, inclusion and community, please explore Mr. Mundy's Equity and Community Engagement Events Calendar.