Middle School students learn about Dr. King’s legacy

Posted on February 9th, 2014 by Tony Tepedino

Post written by Spanish teacher Lindsey Brown

Members of the Middle School Student Awareness Group and Middle School Student Council attended the Expressions of King’s Legacy keynote speech delivered by media personality Tavis Smiley at the  Rochester Institute of Technology.  Smiley talked in detail about the last year of Martin Luther King’s life, but his larger message was about leadership. “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people,” he said.  “And you can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.” Sixth grader Matthew Duver appreciated Smiley’s “humorous yet serious” speech.

The celebration included a performance by spoken word artist and noted singer Whitney Morrison. Students were particularly moved when eleven-year-old Curtis Barber, winner of the 2013 Gardere Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition, spoke. Barber, whose mother is deaf, delivered his speech simultaneously in American Sign Language. Barber’s speech inspired seventh grader Mikayla Gross to “try my best to do my best.”

That evening, eighth graders and upper school students attended a panel discussion entitled “The State of Race in Rochester” moderated by Smiley. The panel consisted of community and student leaders including our new mayor Lovely Warren and Sophie Gallivan, high school senior and president of the Rochester City School District’s Student Leadership Congress. Allendale Columbia attendees were engrossed for two full hours and even stayed after to take pictures.

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Posted in: Highlights, Middle School