A junior boarding and day school for boys in grades six, seven, eight, and nine
Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity: Celebrating Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Day is a school day at Eaglebrook. For many years, faculty members were encouraged to include Dr. King’s thoughts and teachings in their lesson plan for the day. For the last few years on this day, things have been slightly different in the Eaglebrook classrooms. Mr. Chris Brown ’01, Eaglebrook’s Diversity Coordinator, told the students in his morning assembly, “You will be exposed to an array of different topics today, surrounding race, ethnicity, gender inequality, LGBTQ issues, and much more. Pay attention, ask questions, get involved in tough conversations, and most of all, learn, and have some fun.”
To that end, a more intentional curriculum was set up in all of the departments on campus to reflect the themes of the day. Special projects were designed in different classes that related back to the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For instance, students in Fourth Form science classes participated in a STEM challenge with experiential learning about discrimination and inequity. The students participating in the challenge were given certain disadvantages and unequal amounts of materials. A class discussion followed this exercise to talk about what arose from those inequities. Sixth Form Biology classes discussed inequalities in science and medicine by looking at the unethical treatment of certain groups of human subjects and patients. Music classes watched “Let Freedom Sing” a documentary about how music helped to inspire the Civil Rights Movement. In the Relax and Read elective, Library Director Anna Bognolo spoke to students about the diverse book movement. Mr. Karis’s History class discussed the American criminal justice system and how race and other influencers play a part in sentencing and arrest rates. Mr. Townsend’s math class addressed the issue of inequality via the documentary “Waiting for Superman”. English classes used the texts they were reading to talk about the themes of the day.
We are always working, as Mr. Brown said, to “Make this campus an even more accepting, inclusive, and understanding community.” He posed a series of questions during his assembly, “What would you do to promote change? What would you do as the future leaders of this world? How will you lead? Will you do your part to carry on the legacy and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?” The themes that shaped Martin Luther King Day on campus are ones that we revisit often, not just on this day, but it was powerful to have the whole community working on those questions all at the same time. See photos from the day.