Students to Lead MLK Day Events

Kelicia Hollis ’08 will be leading the workshop “The VH1 Top 40 Videos Show” for the third year in a row on MLK Day. Participants will watch clips from VH1’s most popular videos from the year and consider what messages the artists portray to audiences in their videos “from chauvinism to class,” said Hollis. One of Hollis’ goals for the workshop is to get participants to be “conscious consumers” of media. Hollis’ workshop is one of more than a dozen planned for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this Monday. The schedule features a special All-School Meeting in the morning, separate programs for Juniors and Lowers, workshops for Uppers and Seniors, two community service projects and events for faculty. This year’s agenda, the result of months of effort, reflects greater student input and feedback from previous years. In her third year spearheading the planning for MLK Day, Dean of CAMD Linda Carter Griffith said she “want[ed] as much variety as possible,” but that she is accommodating general interest. She has noticed trends of preference for the media and visual arts, such as video. Griffith complemented this feedback with the first student MLK Day planning committee of about 15 students. The students on the planning committee were instrumental in shaping the day, Griffith said. For example, they suggested that socioeconomic class, religion and gender would be good topics to add to the traditional menu of race discussions on MLK Day. Griffith took these suggestions to colleagues, who helped create a diverse selection of workshops for Uppers and Seniors. Students also represent an integral part of the workshop leadership. Three CAMD Scholars, Seniors Britney Achin ’08, Simone Hill ’08 and Thomas Smyth ’08, who have been working and researching since the spring, will present their CAMD Scholar projects in workshops. Hill said that her presentation, titled “Adversity to Diversity: Understanding the Southern Experience,” will be a “very personal story.” She said, “[It’s] basic message is that finding out about yourself leads to an understanding about multiculturalism.” She spent most of her summer performing extensive research that culminated in an 18-page paper. She spent time during Fall Term with her faculty advisor, Head of School Barbara Chase, preparing her presentation. Hill thinks it is “good they’re incorporating [CAMD Scholar Projects] into MLK Day” because “people will draw different themes…they’ll already be thinking about those themes [of equality and discrimination].” Mary Krome ’09 will assist Director of Education Julie Bernson and Education Fellow Amy Freedberg with their workshop, “Representation and Reality: A Discussion of American Photographs.” The workshop will focus on the Addison Gallery’s collection of twentieth-century photographs, and Krome is excited to consider art in relation to social matters. Looking at black and white relations, said Mary Krome, will be “really cliché of MLK Day,” but she is looking forward to having a “poignant conversation about something that’s still painful to our nation…with people [she doesn’t] know.” The All-School Meeting Keynote Speaker for Monday is Michael Patrick MacDonald. He has written two books, “All Souls” and “Easter Rising.” Both describe his experience growing up in South Boston and grapple with issues of socioeconomicclass. Griffith shared the MLK Day planning committee’s enthusiasm for MacDonald. He would, she said, be a good speaker not only because a “‘local’ boy…would be more powerful,” but also because “class is more difficult [than other issues] because it’s invisible.” The Juniors will watch “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me,” a one-man show that explores afflictions of personal identity such as race, discrimination, homophobia and gender equity. Michael Fowlin, an actor, psychologist and poet, will perform the 75-minute play.