Leading by MLK’s Example


Hannah Dollar

Monday, Jan. 18th, we celebrate the 26th anniversary of the day honoring the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by paying tribute and reflecting on Dr. King’s legacy, vision of diversity, and desire for inclusion. As students of such a diverse school, we can continue to apply his vision by promoting and creating clubs that celebrate all individuals and make the school more aware of diversity’s importance.
Martin Luther King was and continues to be a leader of all people. He chose courage and determination in the face of injustice, ignorance, and violence. He stood beside his goals despite its opposition, achieving rights for all. His understanding of unifying communities advanced the success of one common goal, something not limited to the workforce or “real-world.”. King’s legacy reaches much further than his influence during the civil rights movement; his memory is also a reminder of the impact of influential determination, actions, and persistent human equality improvements. This influence provides today’s generation with a model for improving equality for future generations. Look how far our nation has come since those days of severe inequality and scarce diversity. Now, consider that we still have a long way to go, starting here, at College Park.
“As a society, I feel over the past few decades we’ve done a better job with inclusion and promoting diversity, but I feel there’s still a long way to go,” Senior Logan Maksimowicz said. “We’ve seen this with social justice issues and the division in our country right now. I believe it starts with new education practices, new information provided, and a change of mindset. There’s a good amount of rules in place helping to fight exclusion, but for these rules to be effective, everyone needs to follow them and believe in them. We need to see from others’ perspectives and have empathy and do everything we can to fight for the equality of all people, and it starts with the individual leading by example.”
As a young and thriving generation, it is our responsibility to stand up for the progress we seek. Students are continually creating new clubs and outlets for their individuality and subject-specific matters with the support of all-embracing teachers at College Park.
“I think we can create more clubs and student organizations where people can become friends and know each other outside of a forced classroom environment,” Junior C.J. Liotta said. “CP has a decent representation of different cultures, ethnicities, and identities. I think the main thing is that we unite as one student body despite our differences, which is pretty cool.”
By sharing different identities, beliefs, and cultures, a wide variety of individuals can become connected and more accepting of one another. College Park offers a club fair each year that connects students by educating them and encouraging them to join different clubs. Though there is still room for improvement in awareness for these clubs, announcements and social media have created a broader platform for these students’ voices.
“I think CP does a good job offering many opportunities for people to express their cultures and beliefs as well as traditions by including all of these different clubs and classes that reflect how some live their daily lives,” Junior Alex Henderson said. “Overall, the school could possibly have more ways people can obtain information about the different cultures and ideas of those who attend the school and really emphasize diversity. This also depends on the students and if they are willing to express their culture and knowledge they have within them.”
Continuing MLK’s mission to ensure inclusivity and promote the diversity that allows our school to prosper is vital to our campus’s well-being. The College Park staff’s supportive nature welcomes such diversity, allowing students to be expressive of who they are and what they believe. It is up to the students to reflect this same attitude among their peers.
“I feel like we, as a campus, try to include everyone,” Black Student Union sponsor Ms. Strickland said. Along with our pillars of excellence, we also encompass the Conroe ISD motto, “All means ALL,” I think sometimes it’s easy to forget, not because we want to. Still, due to the state of everything that’s going on, we can choose to be silent because we don’t know how to converse about a topic. It is important to form real relationships with students, try not to assume based on their personal experiences, and know that our number one job as teachers is to be here for all students.”