On March 20th, the 4th and 5th grades welcomed a panel of esteemed guests to the King School. The panel discussion was designed to highlight the living history present in our community and to connect the protests and the struggles for justice that are happening today with those of the past.
The guest speakers included:
- Saundra Graham, former State Representative, Cambridge City Council member, Namesake (along with Ms. Rosa Parks) of the Graham and Parks School, life long activist and Riverside resident
- Carol Hill, current King School Community Council member, Founder of the MLK preschool, which subsequently became the Department of Human Services Preschool programs in the Public School, life long activist and Riverside resident
- Kenneth Reeves, Former City Council member, Mayor of Cambridge 1992-1995 and again in 2006-2007, the first openly gay African American Mayor in the U.S., and life long activist and current President of the Cambridge Chapter of the NAACP
- Mari Gashaw, currently a CRLS senior and founder of Black Lives Matter Cambridge
Each panelist was asked to speak about his or her personal experience with protest and struggle. The students where treated to stories, which included the take over of the Harvard Administrative buildings in protest of the university's investments in apartheid in South Africa, the interruption of Harvard’s graduation ceremonies in protest of the university buying up property and displacing residents of the riverside neighborhood, the establishment of quality child care in the neighborhood so that mothers could work, and high school students shining a light on the lack of meaningful conversations about race and current events in the classroom, leading to a student walk out at CRLS.
King 4th and 5th grade students were an amazing audience, who listened and responded with rapt attention. When they had a chance to ask questions, they asked thoughtful questions. Many students stayed after the panel discussion was over, surrounding the stage to continue the conversation with the panelists.
We would like to thank the Friends of King and the four panelists for their support of our school community.