Keeping MLK’s Dream Alive in the L-S Community

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History.com

Dr. King’s dream is a legacy that needs to be kept alive.

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.” 

It’s been almost sixty years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. A lot has changed since then – and a lot hasn’t. Often, when we speak of Dr. King’s dream, we refer to it as a thing of the past – something that has been dealt with entirely, that we’ve checked off our so-called list. 

However, Dr. King’s dream is not that simple. It can’t be made a reality with something as simple as an act of legislation or a Supreme Court ruling, for it is anything but objective. “I think it’s important to note that MLK’s dream absolutely extends far beyond just racial justice,” says Lincoln-Sudbury senior Matt Baird. He admits that four years ago, he’s not sure if he would have agreed with such a statement. Dr. King’s dream is not a problem to be solved, but rather an idea and a legacy that needs to be kept alive. 

So, how is the L-S community doing that?

One group working to keep Dr. King’s dream alive is the Racial Climate Task Force, or the RCTF. The group’s mission statement reads, “The RCTF is committed to ensuring that the racial climate at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School supports a sense of belonging and promotes inclusiveness for all. Additionally, RCTF is committed to fostering a racial climate that is safe and respectful, and supports full and equitable access to the entire curriculum (including co-curricular experiences) for all of our students.” The RCTF meets once a month and consists of students, faculty, parents, and community members. Anyone interested in joining the Racial Climate Task Force can email Matt Baird ([email protected]) for more information. 

For those who aren’t able to commit to a group but still want to learn and have thoughtful discussions about race, the Lincoln METCO Coordinating Committee and Sudbury Community for Racial and Social Justice have organized a completely-virtual community screening of the documentary film “I’m Not Racist… Am I?”, which details a yearlong exploration of race and racism by a diverse group of teens and their families. Everyone with any connection to Lincoln or Sudbury will be able to watch the film at home from any time from 9:00 AM on Saturday, February 27, to noon on Monday, March 1. 

Over the course of the following week, a series of events in relation to the film will be held, the first of which being a 90-minute virtual panel discussion with a panel from the Lincoln, Sudbury, and Boston communities facilitated by Point Made Learning (the film’s producers). This will take place on Wednesday, March 3, at 6:30 PM. 

Following the larger panel discussion, there will be a series of small group discussions with trained facilitators with diverse identities and experiences. These discussions are open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Lincoln or Sudbury, and will take place on Thursday, March 4, and Friday, March 5 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, March 6 at 10:00 AM.

The event is free, thanks to the Sudbury Foundation, Ogden Trust, First Parish of Lincoln, Bemis Free Lecture Series, and anonymous donors, but registration is required. With this link, you can register for the film screening and gain access to the live panel discussion and/or the small group discussions. 

Another excellent opportunity for L-S students to get involved is to join the MLK Action Project. Baird notes that the Google Classroom, as well as the club’s Instagram (@lsrhsmlkap), is an excellent way to stay informed. “It’s kind of like a hub of information,” he says. To join the classroom, fill out the form at this link.

For students who are “motivated to lead, but just don’t know where to start,” Baird also recommends consulting Lori Hodin ([email protected]), the L-S coordinator of Safe School initiatives and Psychology teacher. He encourages students interested not only in joining a group, but leading an initiative of their own, to speak with Hodin about how they can involve themselves. 

Martin Luther King’s dream will live on, but not without effort. Members of the L-S community are putting in that effort to ensure that Dr. King’s dream is alive, and anyone can get involved.