This Friday, January 15th, Mount Saint Joseph will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year, we are choosing to celebrate this on his actual birthday instead of the national holiday. This allows us to celebrate MLK Day as a whole school community instead of as individuals. This commemoration is important to Mount Saint Joseph because Dr. King is the only African American with a national holiday, and the reasons why he has a holiday have deep and significant meaning.

Still image from Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech given in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit – Getty Images – ABC News

Mr. Bonham and Mr. Shearer, who organized our celebration this year, explained that we will be doing more as a school this week than we have in any other year for MLK Day. Mr. Bonham and Mr. Shearer’s goal is to include the whole school in the celebration. In the past, MSJ has celebrated MLK Day on the actual holiday by having a prayer service in the morning followed by a breakfast. Attendance was low since it was a day off from school, and so the celebration this year will include the whole school.

The schedule this Friday will be shortened, having most classes focus on some aspect of Dr. King’s beliefs. For example, in English you may look at some of his speeches; in History, some events of the Civil Rights Movement; and in Theology, Dr. King’s life as a pastor and how he fought (peacefully) for racial equality. Then at 1:00 PM, the students will report to homeroom and then go to the Smith Center. At the Smith Center, there will be a prayer service where Brother Edward Driscoll, head of Xaverian Brothers, will speak about how the Xaverian Brothers were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He will also ask us to think about Dr. King’s dream and what our dream is. After Brother is finished speaking, juniors Michael Stromberg and Aaron Johnson will speak, and the choir will perform.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a great role model from whom we can all learn. We need to remember Dr. King’s message, because it still applies to so many current events today. Also, another thing about Dr. King we should remember is how he stood for social justice in a nonviolent way and showed that love is the best way to inspire change. Dr. King also believed in the content of one’s character, not labels they are given.6a00e54ed2b7aa88330192ac062724970d

Martin Luther King, Jr. was so committed to his cause that he dedicated his whole life to what he believed in. The real question for us to consider based on his example is, are there things worth dedicating your whole life to and maybe even dying for?

Just because MSJ is celebrating MLK Day the Friday before doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate it yourself as well, whether that is going out in the community or taking a minute to remember his legacy on racial equality that will be forever remembered.