Fourth grader Justin Mouzon of Norwalk, one of the 12 Lower School (Grades 1-4) assembly speakers, explained how he and his classmates illustrated biographies, each a mini-research project, identifying a participant of the Civil Rights movement, to add to a paper "quilt." Every student contributed a piece to the quilt, which in some way reflected upon the themes of peace, love, equality and freedom.
“I studied Langston Hughes,” said Justin. “He was an American poet, but also a social activist, novelist and playwright. He was also a journalist and a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.”
In addition, the Lower School assembly included a group recitation of a portion of Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” speech and singing of “We Shall Overcome,” by students, parents, faculty and staff, as well as student musical performances and reflections. Students who participated in the group recitation included first graders Stephanos Ghoussias of Stamford, Grace Overman of Darien and Christopher Suozzi of New Canaan; second graders Isla Hokin of Norwalk, Ben Kelsey of Darien and Albert Liu of Stamford; third graders Taylor Kern of New Canaan, Sloane LeBaron of New Canaan and Oliver Porter of Ridgefield; fourth graders Fletcher Londa of Rowayton, Justin Mouzon of Norwalk and Wiley O’Connor of Darien. Fourth graders Ethan Brown-Toussaint of Stamford, Lucy Anne Kurtz of Darien and Kayla Mouzon of Norwalk emceed the Lower School event.
Older students in the Middle School (Grades 5 & 6) and Upper School (Grades 7-9) divisions watched Freedom’s Ring, a multi-media version of Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech, produced by the MLK Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Afterwards, they broke out into smaller groups where they discussed social justice issues of the highest importance to them today and their responsibility in helping Dr. King’s legacy live on.
The school’s staff also gathered at the start of the day to share thoughts and personal reflections with one another.
"The work and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continue to serve as a reminder to us today that America is still on its journey to realizing its creed of achieving freedom and justice for all. Moments for our school community to honor Dr. King are therefore important opportunities to reflect on where we have been, and to remind ourselves of where we are going," said Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Kojo Clarke, who helped to organize the school's commemoration and study of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with teachers, administrators and the school's six-member faculty-staff team of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion liaisons.