Now I realize that there are those all over who are telling us that we must slow up. … But we cannot afford to slow up. We have a moral obligation to press on. We have our self-respect to maintain. But even more we can't afford to slow up because of our love for America and our love for the democratic way of life. … We must keep moving. We must keep going.
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
From "The Montgomery Story," an address to the 47th annual NAACP Convention, San Francisco, June 27, 1956
We are a few days away from MLK Jr. Day. I know many of you are thrilled at the thought of the three-day weekend, but leading up to this special day, I encourage you to do a couple of things. One is to take time with your students to do something to discuss Dr King’s work and those that worked alongside him in the Civil Rights Movement. Be sure your students leave for their weekend, knowing WHY they have no school on Monday. My hope is that all students will know why the district and the nation set this day aside to honor and remember the work of Dr. King.
I'll drop one resource here that is chock-full of great ideas for you (discussion, writing prompts and extension activities) to lead conversations and reflection in your classes : Dr. King and the Movement
The second thing I encourage you to do is to find something to do in your community to be a part of in enriches your learning around the work in civil rights. I’ve included a couple local events that I think you will LOVE under the "Community Resources" tab. (There are many more events around the city that you can search for that I did not share, so find one that interests you and go! If you have kids of your own, take them too.) I took my son, Zion, last year to the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Forest Library and we both enjoyed ourselves. It is important to me that he learns why he has no school on this particular Monday of the school year. Along with a keynote speaker there will be students from DMPS sharing their art work, poetry, and creative writing.
Another amazing opportunity is to hear Dr. Yusef Salaam speak (for FREE!) He is one of the Central Park Five and has an amazing story of being wrongly convicted as a teen for a rape and murder, and as a result, was imprisoned for years. He shares that story, but also one of love, forgiveness and redemption. I had the privilege to hear him speak and I have no doubt if you hear him, your spirit will be moved.
*All the details of these two events are on the “Community Events” page on this weebly.
ENJOY your long weekend, but please consider taking some time before the week ends to think of ways you can teach your students more than they might already know of Dr. MLKing Jr.