Each year our school honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Week of Peace, Hope and Justice. The week involves a variety of activities, speakers, service opportunities and field trips oriented towards increasing intercultural competency on our campus.
I loved the week the students designed this year, even though I’ve not been at work to see it realized. Here were my three favorite things they did:
1. The Saturday of Martin Luther King Jr weekend, a group went to serve with Dream Center’s Adopt a Block. I love Adopt a Block. Love, love.
Basically, each Saturday, rain or shine, people from L.A. and guests of the Dream Center from around the world head out to serve the city. They bring some groceries and some kids’ activities, but mainly, they offer themselves.
It’s a relationship based ministry, where the goal is most of all to get to know a community, offer to pray with them, and let them know that if they’d like to join Angelus Temple for worship, they’d be very welcome. I love the model, love the people I’ve met, and especially love that nearly anybody can be part of this. (It’s appropriate for kids grades 4 and up, with their parent, I’d say.)
Love. Have I said that enough yet?
2. We offered a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance. I haven’t been in probably ten years or more, but it is an excellent museum with engaging exhibits that not only educates guests on historical injustice, but also challenges contemporary gaps in equality.
3. All week long, students were invited to create an art piece that answered the question, What does 50 years of Civil Rights change mean to you? Each canvas is 6×6–small enough that even a non-artist feels like they can try–and the materials were in our cafeteria during lunch.
Tonight, the pieces will be combined as a mosaic and revealed at an evening event that includes food and entertainment from two comedians.
When we began to plan, I hadn’t realized that 2012 marked 50 years of Civil Rights efforts. (And of course, 1962/63 is selected for the high volume of activity, not because it actually began the movement. Rosa Parks took her stand in 1955, for instance. This timeline is one way to see a variety of events related to Dr. King’s life and beyond.)
It got me thinking–where are things hopeful? Where do we still have strides to make?
How would you answer the question? What does 50 years of Civil Rights change mean to you?