On Friday, a virtual middle school assembly celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At the assembly, a series of grade 7 speakers delivered calls to action on issues important to them in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day’s designation as a day of service.
The activity was directed by English teacher Rebecca Williams, who asked her students to be “voices of change” by bringing awareness to issues they felt were important.
Linda Zeng spoke on the pressure felt by students preparing for standardized tests and offered some ways students could alleviate stress. Ritik Raman and Rahul Sundaresan spoke on the danger posed to aquatic life by pollution and how people can contribute to a more sustainable world. Disha Gupta offered a passionate plea for the community to find ways to end bullying, which she said creates “a never-ending cycle of abuse.” Savitha Satish talked about the discrimination faced by sufferers of mental illness and encouraged people to educate themselves and others on mental health. Elie Ahluwalia and Myra Thakker talked about how stereotypes can lead to discrimination and explained the difference between being a passive “non-racist” and an active “anti-racist” who analyzes their own stereotyping thoughts and works for a more equal society. Finally, Sofia Shah talked about gender inequality in the workplace and how norms that keep women at home and in a narrow set of jobs must be rejected.
Following the student talks, seventh grader Tanvi Sivakumar announced the Blessing Bags service project, which will provide basic necessities such as water, food and toiletries to the homeless.
The assembly ended with Williams challenging the attendees to find issues they care about and learn how to become an agent of change, followed by attendees announcing the issues they chose in the Zoom room’s text chat.