On Thursday, January 12, students, faculty, and staff gathered in prayer for an assembly in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Organized by the Diversity Committee, the service invited the Regis community to reflect on the late, great civil rights leader's work and legacy, and consider how his teachings demand of us greater action in the pursuit of justice.
Guided by the theme Civil Rights: A Living History, the day's program called Regians to understand how the current world is directly influenced by the course of history, regardless of how far removed those events are from our modern lives. “When we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., a man known for his grand visions, service, faith, and contributions to the advancement of racial justice...we must collectively understand that his mission—his history—is still ongoing," shared Ralph Osais '23 in his opening remarks. “We must comprehend that the Civil Rights era, at its core, isn’t a historical period but a continuous, transgenerational movement that breathes through us. If we look closely and observe the world around us, we can see that many of the injustices that Dr. King fought against still exist today—history is alive and real, for better or worse."
In addition to student-led prayers, intentions, and meditative exercises, the service incorporated a multimedia approach to more fully represent what the fight for racial justice has and continues to look like. Johnathan Bernadeau '23 recited the poem “Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou, and color photographs of Dr. King were projected to the audience throughout the program. The morning concluded with a performance of Sam Cooke's “A Change Is Gonna Come" by student and faculty singers.
“It’s important to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy always, as he is not only an important figure in black history but the history of this nation," said Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ms. Belkise Dallam. “My hope is that the students reflect on the words of the prayers and songs they heard and are inspired to 'go out and set the world on fire,' which is what our Catholic faith calls us to do.”
The annual remembrance of Dr. King at Regis began in 2004, organized by Fr. Christopher J. Devron as a small service in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Today, the entire school community comes together to contend with our nation's troubled past and heed the call for change.