Latin's theme for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Commemoration 2022 was "Nourishing Our Sense of Belonging: Embracing Our Identities as Individuals and as a Community." On Wednesday, January 19, students in all three divisions engaged in thoughtful conversations, meaningful reflection and impactful experiential learning.
After beginning their day with Eboo Patel, students participated in a variety of workshops: one that centered on what it means to "belong" at Latin, in which all students participated, and two other workshops of their choosing. For example, students in the Lindy Hop/Swing workshop learned that swing was the first public social event to be racially integrated and got to try some moves; students in "Data Analysis and the Economics of Educational Inequities" explored the correlation between educational opportunities and other variables by analyzing statistics; and students in "Exploring Gender: First and Next Steps" reflected on their own ideas about gender and what contributes to people's ideas about gender, while exploring historical and cultural examples of how people have expressed, embodied, and lived with their own genders.
In the afternoon, middle school students participated in a variety of teacher-led workshops that celebrated the day. Sessions such as "If You Went to a Protest" or "Censorship & Banned Books" highlighted how the struggle for equality and justice is still ongoing, while other sessions highlighted the arts, such as exploring the connection between music and poetry in "Hip Hop, Poetry, and Prose" and learning about a warrior dance that originated in Mali called "Sofa: Warriors Stay Strong; Stay United." At the end of the day, students had a chance to reflect on their experiences with the advisory and talk about the ways they feel a sense of belonging at Latin.
The lower school MLK Day of Commemoration was filled with experiential learning throughout the day. Students and faculty kicked off the day with a community assembly on Zoom which highlighted messages of peace, nonviolence, and taking action. Local artist Indira Freitas Johnson inspired us with her message of "change just one thing," fourth grade student speakers shared their small actions that contribute to an inclusive community, and a LS community slideshow showcased the many ways that identity, diversity, and a sense of belonging are nurtured. During the day, students engaged in grade level workshops, read alouds, team-building activities, and participated in a special art project designed and facilitated by our guest artist, Ms. Johnson.
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