The Brooklyn Friends Lower School honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at its assembly on Wednesday morning by “inviting” changemakers as the school’s special guests. These guests, each presented by a specific grade were honored as individuals or movements—both past and present—that we acknowledge through the lens of changemakers.
The assembly began with a beautiful rendition of “We Shall Overcome”, performed by colleagues Winston Benons Jr., accompanied by Amelia Jenison; Kirsten Ferdinand, Head of Lower School Jason Novak, and students from Lower School Spanish class.
Head of School Crissy Cáceres formally welcomed the Zoom audience to the assembly, explaining how much she looks forward to this specific assembly each year. She stressed that in addition to “inviting” changemakers from throughout history, it was important to note that our students were also invited as the changemakers that they are. “Changemakers make a true difference in this world,” she said. “And that is exactly what you are. You are all making decisions everyday that allow for good change. You use your hearts and minds to help make others’ lives better.”
Jason then introduced the segment of the assembly during which changemakers would be featured, beginning by welcoming the first guest, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following Dr. King being welcomed, the fourth grade welcomed Arturo Alfonso Schurmburg; the third grade welcomed Indiginous Water Protectors; the second grade welcomed Greta Thunberg; the first graders welcomed Amanda Gorman; and the Kindergarten welcomed Alicia Garza, Parisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
Katie Banks, the assistant head of Lower School, then welcomed everyone who has fought for freedom and justice and continues to fight today.
Colleagues Megan Gilonna, Chris Kavanaugh, and Jill Fiengo then read verses from Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech.
Jason then reminded everyone to always “use your own voice.”
The touching assembly concluded with the 3A class leading the entire assembly with a stirring rendition of the song, ”Ain’t Going to Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”