MLK Day – Social Justice at Worcester Academy

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Forest Ma, Writer

The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. day at Worcester Academy lustrously highlighted the school’s honorable principles and prevalent diversity.

The core values of Worcester Academy appear to reflect the same values that Martin Luther King Jr. had; honor, respect, community, personal growth, and challenge. MLK embraced these principles and greatly influenced the country in his efforts to secure righteousness in societal morality.

Honor. It is the integrity and honesty to ourselves and to those around us, whether it be in our day-to-day contact with others, or our own free judgement in the choices we make. MLK wanted honor for humanity; for the innate and instinctive knowledge of right and wrong, and the serving of community with genuine and uncorrupted intentions.

Respect. The most basic form of virtue- the regard of rights and feelings of others. MLK believed the same level of respect should not be limited to those of privilege. Respect calls for, and promotes equality, which is something our country owes to MLK.

Community. The product of respect and morality. The joining of people that can be so diverse, yet so unified into one single society, void of division and segregation. MLK always preached for the betterment of community through the morals that are very similar to our core values.

Personal growth and challenge: values that are applicable to not only the self, but to society as well. They allow a community to move forward, and that’s just what MLK wanted- the improvement of justice and equality for humanity.

Worcester Academy Diversity Committee member, sophomore, Juliette Noel says she has a deeper and more personal connection to the holiday: “Being a black person I think it is empowering just to know that somebody [was] going through so much back in that time. I couldn’t even imagine living then. It is something that is really deep within me,” Juliette said.

Her affiliation to MLK day further allows her to see very clearly the value within MLK’s words, as she commented on the overall revolutionary influence on the nation through his message.

Juliette acknowledged the massive amounts of improvement within the country today, but simultaneously alluded to the constant room for change: “Just to think about the way society was in that time and the way that it is now- obviously it’s not perfect, but we’ve come so far from what it was then,” she said. “As part of the diversity committee, we’re not really doing very much right now. I think that’s something that definitely needs work.”

Sophomore Adam Zivny was able to reflect upon the impact of MLK’s message: “He showed that every man is equal no matter what race or skin color, language, or whatever differences we have; we’re just all one, we’re all man, we’re all women, we’re all children, we’re all the same,” Adam said. “He brought equality. He was able to [bring equality], not even amongst just African Americans, but also amongst different races that were treated poorly.”

Adam stated his confusion as to why some people disregard the importance of kindness in society even today: “Respect and kindness [is important]- there’s just no need to hate people that aren’t like you.”

However, despite the imperative presence of the special day to honor the great man of the civil rights movement, Adam noted that the occasion is merely an admonishing gesture for the continuance of the country’s and the school’s core values: “MLK day is a day where we should respect one another; not just MLK day but everyday,” he said. “It’s just kind of a reminder to tell us or show us that we should respect people no matter our differences.”