School NewsJan 20, 2023
— updated Jan 24, 2023
Dr. King’s Beloved Community
Honoring the life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
With an eye toward action, the Miss Hall's community took time Wednesday to honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and activate around Dr. King’s vision of the “Beloved Community.”
The morning began in Centennial Hall with a keynote from Aminah Pilgrim, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies & Critical Ethnic and Community Studies at UMass Boston.
In her remarks, “Toward an Anti-Racist Future,” Dr. Pilgrim provided a roadmap for that path via four objectives: exploring Dr. King’s “Revolution of Values,” connecting that vision to personal development and growth, mastering the concept of anti-racism, and engaging with each other so as to move forward as individuals and as a community.
“When Martin Luther King was alive, he wasn’t the Dr. King everyone now celebrates,” Dr. Pilgrim pointed out. Many, she noted, found his ideas, including that of a Beloved Community, “too radical,” because it called for a Revolution of Values to upend the “evil triplets” of racism, militarism, and materialism that plague American society.
Citing Dr. King’s October 1967 speech “What is Your Life’s Blueprint?” in which he challenged high school students to develop a plan for their futures, Dr. Pilgrim encouraged the MHS community to study their own lives and to pay particular attention to moments of pain and inspiration alike. “Pay attention to where those may be leading you, and, in the words of Dr. King, ‘be dedicated to excellence,” she said. “You need to first believe in your own worth and dignity.”
Offering the prompts, “Who are you, and what is your life’s purpose?” and “What actions can you take to contribute to an anti-racist future?” Dr. Pilgrim asked the community to discuss and share ways to move toward an anti-racist future. That pathway, she added, requires developing emotional intelligence, or EQ, and gaining a fundamental understanding of how our actions impact others.
“Dr. King told us we needed to change peoples’ hearts and minds. It’s hard work, but it’s also ‘heart work.’ It starts with each of us doing our own work within ourselves. ”
Senior Lecturer in Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies & Critical Ethnic and Community Studies at UMass Boston
Following Dr. Pilgrim’s remarks, Diversity Coalition Heads Shirley Dong ’23, Wel Maria ’24, and Kali Sears ’23 spotlighted Dr. King’s vision for a Beloved Community, in which “everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger, and hate.” They then broke down how each of the three evils is a barrier to realizing that vision.
Their presentation set the stage for the second part of the morning — workshops led by MHS community partners and themed in the tenets of the Beloved Community. Three sessions were offered:
- End Militarism (violence in all its forms): Presentation on Center and Healthy Relationships, with Carli McGurn, Prevention Educator with the Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield.
Each of the workshops dove deeper into obstacles in the way of achieving the Beloved Community, provided room for discussion about ways around those obstacles, and offered opportunities to explore how to move closer to Dr. King’s vision.
To prepare for Wednesday’s work, Monday’s Community Meeting featured MHS Black Student Union Heads Oumou Sidibe ’24 and Nat Williams-Jack ’24, and BSU member Kani Harrison ’26 leading a tribute to Dr. King. Their detailed presentation included information about Dr. King’s life, a brief history of the federal holiday in his honor, and details about ways to get involved in and honor Dr. King’s vision.
Thank you to the Black Student Union, the Diversity Coalition, and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Horizons teams for such invaluable time together this week!
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Aminah Pilgrim, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies & Critical Ethnic and Community Studies at UMass Boston, delivered the keynote address January 18 as part of activities honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and activating around Dr. King’s vision of the “Beloved Community.” Following Dr. Pilgrim's Keynote, MHS community partners led workshops themed in the tenets of the Beloved Community.