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The Hill Celebrates the Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The following is an email sent from the Rev. Khristi Adams, Hill's Firestone Endowment Chaplain and Interim Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, to The Hill community on Monday, January 18, 2021 reflecting on the life and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is set aside every year to nationally celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights activist who hoped and strategized for a better America. It is more than just a day off. More than just one day a year to talk about race. More than just one day of service. It is a time of recommitment to the values and principles that guide our beliefs and our behaviors. As you continue through the day today, consider reflecting on the following questions: 

  • What values and principles are guiding your beliefs and behaviors as of late? 
  • What values and principles are guiding our country’s beliefs and behaviors as of late? 
  • How are Dr, King’s views and work still relevant today?  
  • Has society improved since the civil rights era? If not, why not? If so, how so?  
  • What areas still have opportunities for improvement? 
  •  In 2021, are we the country Dr. King envisioned? 
  • What role can you play in contributing to a more just and unified Hill School and better nation? 

These are important questions to reflect on today, this week, and this entire year as we strive to move forward as a nation.

Student Reflections on Dr. King:

During the winter term, students enrolled in Hill’s "Religious Radicals" course taught by the Rev. Adams discussed important topics including the civil rights movement; peace and anti-violence initiatives; responses to poverty, racial and gender justice; and interfaith efforts towards building positive relationships across religious, racial, and ethnic life; and the work of Dr. King. Their final assignment was to write a paper that focused on the background, context, and ethical teaching of one of the Rev. Dr. King’s speeches. Below are essays written by three Hill School students reflecting on his speeches and his impact on our world today.  

Give Us the Ballot given May 17, 1957 - The Power of the Soul, the Dignity of the Vote by Wesley Connelly '22

Wes Connelly '22

I Have a Dream given August 28, 1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King’s Impact on 2020 Black Lives lines. For the Winter Term of 2020, students studied the Matter Protests by Mia Keane '22 

Mia Keane '22 

Beyond Vietnam given April 4, 1967 - “Beyond Vietnam” & Beyond King’s Known Work by Carolyn McNay '23

Carolyn McNay '23

MLK Day Virtual Events:

Hill community members were encouraged to attend virtual events:

Eastern State Penitentiary: "Letter from Birmingham Jail” 

MLK Day Breakfast

National Day of Service