January 17th, 2022
“Why are we here today? Because we believe in you as students and in our Kents Hill community. And because we have work to do. We are here to learn and to lean in”
- Christopher Cheney, Head of School
At Kents Hill we are built on belonging and strive to create an environment where all students feel free to be their authentic selves. To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we went to work. Our students and faculty participated in a day filled with workshops and uncomfortable conversations.
We were so fortunate to welcome back Faisal Khan ’87 as our keynote speaker. Faisal is a columnist, activist, community organizer, and founder of the Carolina Peace Center. His keynote addressed the American Reckoning: Fighting for Justice, Equality, and Peace. He implored students to take action and step up.
Faisal led a morning workshop for students on social activism, accountability, and self-care. In the afternoon, he met with faculty to highlight the context and awareness that faculty at predominantly White Institutions should consider when supporting students from marginalized and underrepresented groups. He drew upon his own experiences at Kents Hill to facilitate a productive conversation. You can watch a full interview with Faisal here.
"What I really liked about MLK Day was the diverse workshops options that were offered. I first attended Empathy and Listening to Hear Listing, which I really enjoyed because it helped me understand that sometimes it is better to just listen than always having a reply. My second workshop was Introduction to MlK day which was nice for me, because I am from Germany and was able to learn a lot. I also enjoyed that the workshops allowed me to meet new people. "
– Anna-Sophie H. ’24
Additional workshops from the day included:
Women in the Civil Rights Movement
Empathy and Listening to Hear
The Written Works of Frederick Douglass
Race as as Social Construct
Let’s Talk about Race: Becoming More Comfortable and Competent with Conversation on Race & Identity
Introduction to Martin Luther King and the Civil Right Movement
Inclusive Teaching Practices
Microaggressions and Unconscious Bias
Viewing and Discussion on Just Mercy and Dawnland
It was not a day off, but a day spent learning new perspectives and igniting a furious desire to do more.
A multitude of students opted-in to student facilitator training for courageous conversations and we truly look forward to continuing to introduce discussions and action into the current climate of KHS on a more consistent and actionable basis.
A huge thank you to our entire community! While the weather definitely caused a few hiccups, we persevered and made it happen. It is not January in Maine without a true nor’easter hitting on a Monday. However, we were able to live stream Faisal’s speech so anyone who could not make it to campus was still able to attend.
We had phenomenal speakers, great participation, and an array of different topics covered. This day was a jumping off point, not a one off event; we will be doing much more.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King Jr. 1948, Morehouse College