Students Commemorate the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

MLK Day 2024

Students from the Class of 2025 work on a visual walking gallery of actions to take in the community.

The Walker’s community spent Wednesday, January 17, 2024 commemorating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Students spent the morning in five groups clustered by grade level. The morning began with a presentation created by our school’s Affinity and Beyond Collective (a group of all student Affinity Group leaders) under the guidance of Assistant Head for Student Life and Director of Social Justice and Inclusion Elisa Del Valle. The presentations were facilitated by Maya Dolphin ’24, Nina Figueroa-Crowe ’26, Gabby Gonzalez ’24, Sara Gupte ’24, Shyanne Harry ’26, Caydi Hill ’24, Izzy Hill ’25, Sophie Kritzman ’24, Valerie Lawson ’25, Chloe Lee ’24, Brianna Molina ’26, Averi Rodriguez ’24, Maddie Toro ’24, Bela Vega ’24, Sophia Xu ’26, Amy Yu ’25, and Julia Zhao ’24. They provided our Middle School and Upper School students with information regarding Reverend Dr. King’s legacy, his work in the Civil Rights Movement, and interesting anecdotes about his life, in particular his childhood and time spent here in Simsbury, Connecticut. 

Middle School learned about social identities with Class Dean Mrs. Rodriguez. They engaged in partner pair-sharing and small group discussions, exploring both how they self-identify and how others may see them. The goal was for students to develop perspective further, sharpen their critical thinking skills by deepening their ability to understand injustice based on social group membership, and honor and celebrate the differences that make them who they are. This equity work is foundational to understanding the life and legacy of Dr. King, and gives deep context to the following part of his often quoted 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Our students were engaged in this workshop, and many stayed afterward to keep talking. We are proud of the way students explored the intersectionality of their identities while showing interest and care for the identities of their peers.

Upper School spent the morning dedicating themselves to learning about the events of Selma, Alabama specifically connected to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on voting rights. They viewed the documentary of Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot, participated in small group activities, and reflected on how to take action. Our students were engaged in this workshop and shared thoughtfully with one another as they navigated the power of their voices and their votes. To honor the learning, students then took part in a closing activity to share how they could take action by creating a visual walking gallery of actions. Facilitators reminded their peers that they have a voice and can create change and as a community we have a responsibility to support one another in that work.

Elisa Del Valle writes, “I continue to be inspired by the willingness, curiosity, passion, dedication, and awareness of our students” and encourages everyone to consider what actions they would like to take in the world.