Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is recognized for his "I Have a Dream" speech, which has inspired people for decades; however, his impact is deeper than the singular message of a dream. Dr King's mission calls for people to right the inequities and injustices that he spoke about in the 1950s and 60s that persist today.
This weekend at the 91st Birthday Commemoration, “Reclaiming the Real Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” held in the San Jose library named for Dr. King, people representing different races, ethnicities, religions, genders, and cultures gave voice to Dr King's vision. Through excerpts of his speeches such as “The Other America,” one recognizes the perils of ignorance, prejudice, and insensitivity that results in oppression. The suppression of one's identity depletes the capacity to realize what is possible. People are so much more than how they are defined by others.
The “SJ Womxn's March” held on the same day as the MLK community gathering is an example of Dr. King's mission in motion. 10,000 people marched through downtown SJ calling attention to the rights realize one’s potential. Female leaders spoke about the need for action, from solving the problems of climate change to elevating the history and cultures of students.
Many of our MUSD students, teachers, administrators, board and community members marched and were present to hear Karrington Kenney, one of our Milpitas High School student leaders, speak to the audience. Miss. Kenney called for an education that integrates the triumphs, contributions, and history of our students of African ancestry. When we know from where we come it empowers and liberates us.
History and cultural knowledge provides people with opportunities to seek understanding, to empathize with one another's struggles, and to value each individual. In MUSD on January 24th, every employee will gather together to learn about bias and to commit to ongoing learning that develops cultural sustainability in our instruction, interactions, and connections within our school community. We are embracing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision so, as he says, we will not continue to “fail to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met.” Within MUSD a Culture of We is one where every learner’s historical, cultural, and personal perspective is cultivated and celebrated.