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Harpeth Hall students honor MLK in new and unifying ways

Harpeth Hall students honor MLK in new and unifying ways
Harpeth Hall students honor MLK in new and unifying ways

At Harpeth Hall, honoring Martin Luther King Jr. each year serves not only as a remembrance of his life and work but also to inspire students to actively engage in creating positive change, treat others with kindness and respect, and give back to the community through acts of service.

This school year, student leaders Kimber Corbitt, Bayona Fletcher, Jade Jordan, Nina Puckett, and Khyah Shute came together with an idea — they wanted to plan an event that would bring the entire school together in a new and interactive way to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

They envisioned engagement stations that would inspire and educate. They came up with activities that included sign-making, trivia, and a unity march. They thought of ways to continue the year’s focus on cross-Souby collaborations, bringing the middle school and upper school students together in a shared space.

“With this particular event, we wanted to show how equity and the legacy of one can inspire so many,” Nina said.

The result was an all-school acknowledgment and celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King.

In one set of rooms, the girls answered trivia questions about Dr. King, eagerly raising their hands to respond to questions such as “How old was Martin Luther King Jr. when he entered Morehouse College in Atlanta?” (age 15) and “How many streets are named after Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States?” (more than 700).

In the gym, students spread out across the floor with paper and markers. Some girls colored parts of a mosaic that, when pieced together, created a collaboration poster for unity. Other girls made signs declaring what they stand for — they wrote words such as “love,” “trust,” “infinite kindness,” “fair treatment,” and “equality.”

The girls also gathered quietly to watch Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. As they listened to his words, they wrote personal reflections on paper in the shape of a footstep — words to guide and inspire them as they take their own steps forward in life.

“MLK reflects on the past and the future, as well as places all over the U.S.,” one student wrote. “By doing this, he shows how all places and people deserve the rights they are fighting for.”

Student leaders Nina Puckett, Kimber Corbitt, Jade Jordan, Khyah Shute, and Bayona Fletcher

One of the most resonant parts of the event was seeing girls of all ages work together. Pairing middle school and upper school advisories in small groups demonstrated how a community can unify regardless of differences, Nina said.

At the event's end, students and faculty gathered in a shared space to participate in a unity march.

“This effort was to support our belief that all people are created equal,” said Jasmin Hopkins, Harpeth Hall’s Director of Equity and

Inclusion and advisor of B.E.L.O.N.G., Harpeth Hall’s student diversity leadership group. “The activities we engaged in were designed for us all to come together. The global groups we traveled in were created to enjoy each other and learn in harmony.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights and dignity of all people, and his legacy inspires us to continue working towards a more just and equitable world. By honoring his memory and ideals on this day, we can reaffirm our commitment to creating a better future for all.”

"We hope that we all continue to think critically about our thoughts, words, and actions,” Ms. Hopkins said. “We believe we lead more confidently by highlighting the achievements of others while celebrating our own. We know we are living honorably when we embrace the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."