Hotchkiss honored the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with two days of speakers, performances, workshops, and community discussion. The theme of this year's program was "Stick with Love," which alludes to King's 1967 "Where Do We Go From Here?" speech. To learn more, click here.
On Sunday, Jan. 14, guest speaker Will Langford held a workshop on performance poetry in the English Wing. Other workshops included "Exploring Love Across Cultures," "Love Thyself: A Mindfulness Practice in Honor of MLK Jr.," "Stand up if...," "Exploring Equity vs. Equality," and "love.interpretive." In the evening, a special reception was held in honor of Walter Crain Jr., a beloved math instructor and dean of students, who passed away last year.
On Monday, Jan. 15, friends and family of Crain attended an All-School program in Elfers to celebrate his contributions to Hotchkiss. Crain, who first came to the School as a teacher in the Greater Opportunity (GO) program, became the School's first African American instructor in 1970 and retired in 2003. (To read a tribute to Crain, click here.) Head of School Craig Bradley praised Crain's commitment to mentoring students and making them feel heard.
"He always worked to help students believe in themselves," said Bradley.
Bradley, along with Black and Hispanic Student Association (BaHSA) co-heads June Perteet and Sherman Cravens '18, unveiled a portrait of Walter Crain, which will hang in Main Hallway.
Following the portrait dedication, Will Langford performed a selection of his poems, many of which celebrated his hometown of Detroit. The day's programming concluded with Community Voices, an annual tradition in which students, faculty, and staff share reflections, including songs, poems, and stories. Instructor in Biology and BaHSA advisor Kadeine Peterson read the Langston Hughes poem "Let America Be America Again;" other students reflected on moments of personal transformation and growth at Hotchkiss. The program ended with a performance of "Ooh Child" by The Gospel Choir.
For Perteet, the day's theme, #stickwithlove, emphasized the strength of the Hotchkiss community.
"We want to show the importance of respecting everyone's differences, of sticking together as a community and loving one another," she said.
Throughout the day on Jan. 15, monitors throughout the Main Building showcased social media posts using the hashtags #bearcats and #stickwithlove. To view a social media gallery, click here.
Watch a video of the day's program:
Watch a video of the Walter Crain portrait dedication: