The Annual MLK Symposium was a Success


After many months of planning and brainstorming, Breck’s annual MLK day symposium kicked off, and there is a lot to break down. On this innovative and educational day of workshops and discussions, Breck students have the opportunity to learn new skills and hear new perspectives from all kinds of different people. Today, I’ll be giving a look into some of the workshops that students could choose from. 

As a member of the Student Diversity & Inclusion council, I specifically looked forward to this day after seeing the hard work and thought that my peers and I had invested in it. I had the pleasure of leading my own workshop with my fellow SDIC member, Lily Ahluwalia (‘23). Using our passion and aptitude for writing, Lily and I taught a workshop called Advocacy Through Journalism, where we showed students how to write persuasive opinion editorials. Students created Op-Eds on any topic you could think of, from the negative aspects of fast fashion, to a persuasive letter that urges shoppers to support Asian-American small businesses. 

The purpose of this workshop was to show our peers how to turn areas of interest into influential letters that could make a difference. I was extremely impressed by the amount of brainstorming that took place. “It was very educational on how one can make a difference using their words,” Finn Emerson (‘25) said, “the facilitators did a great job helping people find resources to further educate themselves.” I deeply appreciated the respect and collaboration that the students of our workshop displayed. I like to think that this idea of spreading advocacy through writing connects to how Martin Luther King Jr. used his thoughts and opinions to create powerful and significant speeches. 

This brings me to the next workshop that I sat in on. I had the opportunity to attend “Colorism and Intersectionality: Their Effects on Black Women,” which was a well-planned workshop led by Cori Thibodeaux (‘24) and Gia Strom (‘24). After sitting in on this workshop, it can be concluded that these two young women are extremely articulate and left a great impact on the students they were teaching. Not only did Cori and Gia share impactful personal stories about their experiences with colorism, but they also managed to spread awareness for all women of color that might experience this kind of treatment in day-to-day life. I found the videos they shared about the meaning of intersectionality to be educational and resourceful. I had some wonderful conversations with my peers about how these topics intertwine with life at Breck and life in communities outside of school. 

The two juniors ended this workshop with an enjoyable game where students could call out famous songs by Black female artists. This engaged the students of the workshop, and it ended the class in a fun and positive way. Cori and Gia did an exemplary job of spreading the message of “Black joy”, while also teaching that we can always do better as a community to be more inclusive of women of color. 

This workshop was such an influential and interactive activity to be a part of. I was tremendously impressed by the organization of this short yet informative class. I give props to Cori and Gia for their hard work and dedication, because this workshop was a 100% success in my eyes. 

To conclude, the Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium is an inclusive and important event that makes Breck school unique. We are extremely lucky to have the resources and support to make these workshops happen. I would call this day a success, and I applaud all parties involved. What I take away from the day is to lead with an open mind and be ready to listen to others’ thoughts. The workshops I attended reminded me how much this generation has to offer, and that we’ll continue to collaborate and educate ourselves on these important topics.