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The Latest EMS News · 14 January 2022

MLK and EMS: What Dr. King’s Message Means to Us

Image: Our second graders share a wide array of picture books available in the Little School Library that highlight diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging.

As a community, we consistently strive to bring about a better future for our students and their families, ensuring that each feels seen and appreciated for their differences and reinforcing that, “Out of many, we are one EMS.” Despite the recent challenges of the global pandemic, our community has survived and thrived, meeting the moment with creativity, resilience, and a renewed commitment to connecting by whatever means possible.

In collectively reflecting on the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this Monday, we have the opportunity to center ourselves in our 4 C’s — Compassion, Cooperation, Courtesy, and Consideration — and think through how our purpose as an institution best connects with Dr. King’s vision and aspiration for education at large, as both a force of social change and a key aspect of the American experiment.

As a student at Morehouse College, Dr. King wrote an editorial for the campus newspaper, the “Maroon Tiger.” In it, he argues that education has both a utilitarian and a moral function:

“It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of [persons] and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a [person] to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of [their] lives…The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

Similarly at EMS, we educate our students for the betterment of themselves, and ultimately, our world at large. As we instruct and encourage children to “think intensively and critically,” we prepare them for the world that is and one that we hope they will co-create. As our school and diversity mission statements dictate, we are shaping “curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens…who experience…a safe, positive, and nurturing environment in which [they] appreciate and understand difference.”

As we take Monday to reflect upon our progress as a school, a community, a country, and as a world village, we keep in mind Dr. King’s words and challenge ourselves to make his dream a reality.

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