29th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Andover


Students and guest speakers, pictured within collage above, led workshops on identity, community values, and inclusivity on Andover’s 29th annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day, Uppers, Seniors, and Post Graduates attended 75 minute-long workshops led by students, faculty, and guest speakers. According to LaShawn Springer, Associate Director of College Counseling and Director of Community and Multicultural Development, the workshops aimed to explore both individual and collective values, in addition to highlighting ways to make the community truly inclusive. While only one person has been quoted, many other students, faculty, and visitng presenters contributed to leading each workshop.

Anjalie Kini ’19

Hashtivism: Taking the Virtual Podium

I think it’s a really important message because the intersection of technology and politics continues to grow and become more relevant, especially after Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, and it’s something that I’m personally really interested in and also happened to be very topical since the speaker at ASM was one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, which is one of the best examples of hastivism.

Visiting Presenter: Chris Messinger

If I Ruled the World and Real Talk About Class and Wealth

My hope is to encourage PA students to see that class and wealth are systems, and to recognize that they have the capacity to change those systems if they think that they are unjust. I’ve spent the last twenty years doing education work, but I’m also a community organizer because I believe that we have the power to change the things that we don’t want to accept, or can’t live with.

Abigail Ndikum ’20

My Dented Crown: An Analysis of a Black Girl’s Mental Health

This is a conversation I’ve had with many of my friends, and I felt as though I wanted to have a safe space to speak about it with other people. Since I came to Andover, I was given the opportunity to talk more about my mental health in perspective to being a black girl at Phillips Academy.

Katharine Wang ’19

Speaking Up: A History of Asian-American Activism

We thought that underrepresentation caused a lack of Asian-American involvement in social activism today, and so we wanted to do our best to rectify that. We saw that there was really an underrepresentation of Asian American figures in the history of social activism, which is a critical point because those figures do exist and they have been very influential.

Visiting Presenter: James Dargan

What Music Can Do: Social Justice for the Intentional Musician

“I knew that this was a topic that people didn’t cover enough. In music schools and music departments that are really high functioning, people are trained to do music very well, to play and sing very well, but they’re not taught any of the other stuff around it like building an audience, using your art to further social justice, they’re not taught that.

Visiting Presenter: Davida Ginsberg

Understanding Anti-Semitism

It’s really important in our world today to be able to understand anti-semitism, what it is, how it works, why it happens, especially in light of the recent shooting at the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh. I want to give people an opportunity to ask questions.

Chi Igbokwe ‘21

Dangerous Dynamics: Defusing Discussions

In general, you want everyone’s voices to be heard like I said earlier, we want to people to be aware of how their identity may be played into the way that they interact with everyone and we want everyone’s points to get across so you can have like a productive, comprehensive conversation that everyone is able to be a part of.

Martina Gil-Diaz ’21

Recognizing Privilege and Where it Comes From

Throughout the entire workshop, we did activities and discussed ways in which our privilege is impacted by all those core cultural identifiers, not just things that you can see like race, or socioeconomic status, which is what most people associate with privilege. There’s more to that, it’s your family structure, if you live with one parent, if you have two parents, if you are physically, mentally and emotionally able to function in everyday situations, it’s your gender, your sexual orientation, your religion.

Emily Ortiz ’19

Debunking Myths of American Immigration

I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to educate the community on something I was passionate about, and something that is important to the greater community. I grew up in an immigrant community, and the community has done a lot for me, and I think it’s only right, especially in a place like Andover where sometimes it can feel very removed from that experience to really talk about it and explore our misconceptions about them.

Skylar Xu ’20

Racism in Homogenous Communities: A Look At Light-Skin Preference in China and Japan

I actually started with watching a video that I thought was very interesting because it was controversial, and I thought that no one around me had really been discussing this topic and that was why I thought it was important for me to bring my own personal perspective into the question.

Karin Ulanovsky ’20

Embracing our Sexual Selves; Saying YES to Consensual Pleasure, Demystifying the Intersections of Sexual Health, Porn/Media Literacy, and Consent

We wanted to bring in a little bit of a different perspective on consent, and long-term relationships, and places where ambiguity comes in. I personally just hope that the more that we talk about consent in a different way, or in a new way and present it in a way that hasn’t been talked about before, the more it’s going to embed itself in Andover culture.

Zar Cordova-Potter ’20

Left off the Census: An Exploration of Mixed-Race Identities in Modern America

This workshop is really about visibility… a really large percentage of people at Andover are mixed race to some capacity, or mixed ethnicity, or things like that, much more than the national average. It’s kind of funny that so many people here don’t understand what that means at all, and that there’s actually a lot of misconceptions going around about what kind of experience that is.

Bea Hruska ‘20

Gender Identity and Gender Presentation:

On campus and In the Larger Sphere

I just hope that they get a wider view of the idea because I think a lot of people know gender versus sex, but people might not know gender expression and masculine versus feminine expression. People might not know the actual laws and legality that surround all of it.

Itzelt Reyes ‘19

Culture & Bridge Building: Who Brings What to the Table?

I think keeping in mind what Martin Luther King Day stands for, whether it’s race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., we want to not only be able to welcome these students and say for statistical purposes that Andover is diverse–but we also want to make Andover a home for these students. And I think the institution as a whole can bring the diversity but it’s up to the students to decide how it is that they want to implement and interact with the community.