Monday, January 19, 2015

Scholars Reflect on Selma

BVP scholars have been learning what it truly means to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day through discussion and reflection with their peers, teachers and community members.

On Saturday, January 10, middle school scholars had the opportunity to see a special screening of Selma, sponsored by the NAACP Providence Branch, as well as the RI Coalition of 100 Black Women. High School scholars also attended a special screening last Wednesday, followed by a panel of local leaders who led a discussion at the high school about how the Civil Rights Movement has impacted our lives today.

Special guests included:
  • Mayor James Diossa of Central Falls
  • Jim Vincent, NAACP President, Providence Chapter
  • Juan Carter and Andre Benton of the Institute of the Study & Practice of Non-Violence
  • Joshua Giraldo, Central Falls Director of Parks & Recreation
  • Detective Sergeant Terrence Green and Detective Anthony Roberson of the Providence Police Department.

Moderated by ninth grader Gladys N.,  scholars had the opportunity to ask the panelists important questions about racism, prejudice, the power of diversity, and the impact of the Civil Rights movement. You can check out our top tweets from the discussion here.

Continuing their reflections, scholars also shared their takeaways as part of a school writing competition. Other scholars plan to submit essays as part of a contest hosted by the National Liberty Museum in honor of the the 50th anniversary of the Selma march.

A few excerpts from these reflections are below:

“As a leader (because I’m a leader: I have a little sister and I want to do the best so she as my little sister would follow my steps), I’m inspired to improve the way we do things.” -Bessy R.

“After watching [Selma], it made me think long and hard about what I have and the community around me... even some of the smallest things you do could make a huge difference. In the movie, the African Americans did small things to get noticed or to make their problems aware to the world and that really inspired me. I may be young, but you're never too young to do something that could change the face of the world.” -Ariel T.

“As the great Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ To this day, I stand by these words. How will I peacefully advance these rights? I will get an education. Intelligence is key and the amount of doors it is able to open is a great quantity.” -Gladys N.

It is meaningful discussions like these with our scholars that make us proud to be educators on MLK day and every day, and we encourage you to engage with us as we continue the dialogue throughout the year.  

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy MLK Day!

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