School Community Comes Together to Honor the Legacy of Dr. King

Joyful music and messages of hope set the perfect tone for the School’s annual celebration to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, February 18.

The day’s theme, “The Beloved Community – Building Bridges Across Difference,” was inspired by Dr. King’s idea of the “Beloved Community,” a society based on equality, kindness, love and belonging. Associate Head for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Roland Davis explained that the theme also tied in to what the DEI team “has been trying to accomplish this year in fostering a greater sense of belonging.”

Both divisions gathered in the Fonseca Center gym for a morning of inspiration with performances by Sage Weinstock ’24, 1877 Ensemble, Masters Justice Choir led by Sam Appiah ’12, and the MUSE student dance troupe. 

In her opening remarks, Head of School Laura Danforth said “Let us celebrate the best of the human family, and let us use today to remember what happens when we fail to live together in peace and with true respect and love.”

With dance moves influenced by Caribbean, African and Latin American cultures, MUSE co-presidents Kuorkor Ashie ’23 and Wennan (Avivi) Li ’22 hope their globally-inspired dance “could help us to understand each other’s cultures and build a respectful and friendly community.”

Guest speaker Amy Bass, a history professor and author of “One Goal,” highlighted the importance of community as she shared anecdotes from her book about a Maine high school soccer team’s championship quest that united a racially divided city.

The rest of the day was filled with workshops for upper school students on topics ranging from women of color empowerment to school segregation. Middle school students discussed subjects such as voting rights and how to be a better ally. Upper school students viewed the film “The Road to Justice'' and participated in a parliamentary debate about the legalization of illicit drugs.

“We wanted to give the community something to be thoughtful and reflective about, and I think we accomplished this,” Davis said.

One of the program speakers, Maddy Blake ’23, reflected on the importance of the MLK Day celebration, explaining that it "makes sure that we are cognizant of the issues that heavily impact the daily lives of Black people, both at Masters and in the larger world."