The following letter was read to our students today at SAMS.
As we go into our three-day MLK weekend, Dr. Corneille and I have a quick message for you. We hope you join us in celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We hope you take time to celebrate and reflect on the extraordinary life of service he led, and we hope it inspires you- as it has us.
As teachers, our lives have been enriched by the lives of hundreds, even thousands, of students. All of them, and all of you, deserve to live the dream Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about in his influential speech. We like to say around here that ALL will learn and contribute. And when we say “all”, we mean ALL. Every one of you- regardless of your race, culture, background, religion, ability, gender, sexuality- deserves a bright and promising future, and as the leaders of your school, we are committed to giving you the education you need to get you on your way.
Together, with your teachers, we are deeply committed to building a school where all students feel as if they really do belong, they can contribute, and they will learn. This commitment requires of us a laser-like focus on racial justice. We owe it to all of you to not just celebrate the strength the diversity of our school offers our community, but we must also disrupt outdated thinking. Some examples of this outdated thinking are talking about race is controversial or white people can opt out of the work to dismantle racism because it does not affect them. Talking about race and racism is important, and dismantling racism benefits all of us in significant ways.
Together, with your teachers, we have been working all year to better understand the role race and racism plays in our school. We welcome you to ask us about what we are learning, what keeps us curious, and what questions we are asking.
Together, with your teachers, we pledge to stay inspired by the life of a great American hero like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We vow to stay inspired by all the promise you show us, too.
We will wrap up with a powerful quote of Dr. King’s- “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve…You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Enjoy the MLK weekend, SAMS students.
Ms. Kujawski and Dr. Corneille