As part of All-School Meeting on Friday, January 14, MBS students reflected on poet and teacher Clint Smith’s TedTalk, “The Danger of Silence,” about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice. The event was the first installation of a two-part series in which we continue the MBS tradition of honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The Danger of Silence” begins with Clint Smith quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Mr. Smith said that he has internalized this message, and how “every day all around us we see the consequences of silence manifest themselves in the form of discrimination, violence, geocide and war.”
“We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don’t,” he continued. “Silence is the residue of fear.”
After screening the TedTalk, Friday’s student-led video series featured MBS students interviewing their peers on how they might use their voice to promote allyship, justice, and positive change in their community and beyond. Students reflected on three key questions:
· Why is it hard to stand up for others?
· What does it mean to be an ally?
· What advice would you give someone who wants to do a better job of standing up for themselves and others?
The video segment ended with SGA President Raf Cruz ’22 addressing the community. “We all have to see beyond just ourselves to pull people in,” he said. “As student body president, I am charging all of us to be that person — that person that shows kindness, that person who’s willing to put themselves on the line to stand up for what’s right and create a culture everyone will want to be a part of. Be that person.”
Following the presentation, students completed surveys and were asked to continue the conversation in their advisories. Students were then invited to submit their ideas in writing or via video on how to further promote the values of belonging here at MBS.
Next week, the MBS community will be joined by the Yendor Theater Company, who will deliver a stirring performance reflecting on the words and aspirations of MLK. This series will lead us into upcoming programming where we recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day by extending the conversations on justice and bring a Holocaust survivor to campus.