"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." —Martin Luther King Jr.
Unlike most schools that close for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, St. Stephen’s uses it as a special educational event to teach students about King’s efforts to end racial segregation and fight injustice.
Between 1955 and 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. helped change America. He brought to the world's attention how unjustly blacks were treated. He had the help of millions of Americans, but his strong leadership and unprecedented power of speech gave people the faith and courage to keep working peacefully even when others did not.
As an inclusive school community committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, St. Stephen’s has a long history of promoting the values of the slain Civil Rights leader.
In 1994 Linda Douglass (former head of Middle School) heard of a locally organized MLK Celebration to honor the life and legacy of King and wanted St. Stephen’s Middle School students to participate in the event, which includes a march from the state capitol to Huston-Tillotson University. Douglass' leadership and guidance laid the foundation for this annual tradition of St. Stephen’s participating in the downtown celebration with the larger Austin community. In fact, St. Stephen’s was one of the first schools in the area to participate in the event.
Marching downtown with thousands of other students, Austinites and local activists for the MKL Day event is one of the highlights of the school year for many students. The MLK Day celebration has taken various forms throughout the years — from inviting prominent keynote speakers to address students in Chapel and sending the entire school to the downtown MLK Celebration, to offering campus-based programming that includes members of the faculty and staff and student leaders, who facilitate conversations centered around diversity, equity and inclusion.
In the last few years, we have chosen to do a variety of campus-based programming while sending some grades down to the MLK Celebration and march. Members of the school community can find information about the 2019 MLK Day program, including a detailed schedule and class assignments, here. Please contact Yvonne Adams, director of equity and inclusion, with questions.