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MLK Day 2021: Beloved Community Resources

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Authored and compiled by Director of Diversity, Equity, and Student Life Toni Cross and Director of Fellowships in Equity & Action Arianne Thomas

As explained by The King Center: “Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

“Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” -bell hooks, social activist  

The late congressman John Lewis describes his notion of a Beloved Community as “an all-inclusive, truly interracial democracy based on simple justice, which respects the dignity and worth of every human being.”

Here at Hathaway Brown School, we strive to foster in the minds of our students an abiding passion for learning and in their hearts a constant devotion to strong character and public service. This school year has been a challenging one and it is under challenging circumstances that we learn the true nature of our character.  We encourage you to embrace this MLK Day by engaging in meaningful action by learning more about what it means to foster a celebrated community of dignity and belonging.  

Feeling the need to DO something? 

Are you a visual learner? Watch these videos: 

  • Watch and discuss Boyd Varty’s TED Talk on the South African philosophy and belief of Ubuntu: “I am; because of you.” The belief captures the notion that we are defined by our compassion towards others.  

    Ubuntu Ted Talk Reflection Questions: 
  1. Where did Boyd grow up? What was his job growing up?
  2. Who did Boyd meet as a young child?  
  3. Describe Sully.  How did Sully save Boyd’s life?  
  4. Describe how the elephant pack treated Elvis.  
  5. What is Ubuntu (in your own words)?  How can we embody and promote Ubuntu at Hathaway Brown?  



5 Day MLK Challenge: 

Do you want to commit to a week of engagement around Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and civil rights? Watch and discuss these videos with your family! Teacher tip: preview the video first before showing to your family so that you have talking points to add!

  • Day one: Watch and discuss this video offering a brief timeline of MLK's life. 
  • Day two: Watch and discuss the Facing History video on Understanding Jim Crow. 
  • Day three: Learn about Claudette Colvin, the girl BEFORE Rosa Parks in this video. You can also check out a great book on her life,  Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose.  
  • Day four: Watch Bryan Stevenson talk about the lynching memorial. Ask your kiddo to identify where they hear MLK's message and influence in the video or the work that he is doing.
  • Day five: Allow your kiddo to explore dosomething.org and find a cause that they are passionate about.  Help them assemble and complete the project of their choice. Ms. Thomas, Ms. Cross, and the diversity liaisons would love to hear if you do this! Send us pictures!

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