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Portledge in the Now.

Honoring Dr. King - Messages from Traci Douglas & Simon Owen-Williams

As we celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. King, I am again struck by the correlation between the ideals of the civil rights movement and Dr. King’s work with the Portledge mission and pillars.
Kindness, Honor, Purpose, and Respect are the backbone of our ethics as a community, and this year, as is our school theme, we have gone even further to focus on how we can care for ourselves, others, and our surroundings. We must celebrate one another's differences and meet those differences with kindness and respect. That is what we aim to teach our students beyond their academic studies each day. 

This past week Middle School students held an assembly that focused on the themes of the civil rights movement and the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many others who joined him in his fight for a more equitable society. In the Upper School, students in the DEI Club and BSU led the assembly by presenting to their peers. The assembly also included two choral performances by the select choir. It was a beautiful and moving tribute to the Civil Rights Movement and honored some of the other leaders in the cause who worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This Wednesday, our Lower School students will hold their own assembly honoring Dr. King. I hope that you too will find ways to commemorate his legacy. 

Lastly, I want to thank Traci Douglas, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for her tireless work to enhance the student experience at Portledge and create a sense of belonging for our community. Please read the important message below from Ms. Douglas. 

Simon Owen-Williams

During the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others fought for equality among all races and ethnicities of people and led several marches and protests, using nonviolence, to demand an end to legally sanctioned segregation and achieve civil and economic justice. Dr. King believed in Portledge’s DEI principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also believed in our Portledge Pillars of Kindness, Honor, Purpose, and Respect.  Dr. King had hopes and dreams for children of all backgrounds and most importantly, he fought so that students could learn together in schools regardless of what they looked like or where they lived. In his famous 1963 speech, “I Have A Dream,” he talked about these hopes and dreams. He especially wanted children to feel like they belonged and were loved, supported, and safe. This vision is completely aligned with the mission and vision of Portledge.  

At Portledge, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of his iconic speech with special events at each divisional level. Dr. King’s birthday was January 15th and in the United States, we honor Dr. King and his legacy with a national holiday on the third Monday of the month. We hope that members of the Portledge community will spend the school closing on Monday, January 16th as a day to provide service to others and to reflect on the work of those who committed their lives to the movement for civil rights for all.

Traci L. Douglas
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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